Commonwealth Champion Eilish McColgan Opens Up In Emotional Documentary

McColgan talks about relationship with mother and pressures to follow in her footsteps

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Eilish McColgan, the celebrated Scottish middle and long-distance runner, takes center stage in the upcoming BBC documentary, “Running in the Family.” 

The film, directed by Alex Harron, delves into Eilish’s remarkable athletic career, her aspirations for the 2024 Olympics, and the unique bond she shares with her coach and mother, Liz. 

The documentary promises an intimate look into the challenges and triumphs of this renowned athlete.

After a stunning performance at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in the 10,000m, McColgan not only won but also set a new Commonwealth record of 30:48.60, breaking her mother and coach, Liz’s 32-year-old record. 

The documentary follows McColgan’s build from her success at the Commonwealth Games into 2024, as she bids to beat the last remaining athletics records set by her mother, and now just the marathon remains.

However, McColgan doesn’t just have the marathon record on her mind. As she gears up for the 2024 Olympics, McColgan also has her sights set on a medal in the 10,000m event.

In the hour-long documentary, McColgan, 33, gives an emotional behind-the-scenes look at her battles through injuries and the pressures of having the McColgan last name. The documentary also highlights McColgan’s dedication to following in her mother’s footsteps, despite various setbacks, as she tries to balance two very different events.

Scotland’s Most Decorated Duo

The Mother-Daughter duo are two of Scotland’s most decorated distance athletes ever.

Liz Nuttall (née Lynch, formerly McColgan) has brought home gold medals from the World Championship and Commonwealth Games and also boasts a silver medal from the Olympics.

McColgan’s mother has also won three of the World Marathon Majors in New York City, London, and Tokyo.

Eilish has followed gracefully in her mother’s footsteps, not only by winning gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games but also earning four medals from the European Championships.

Additionally, McColgan has now taken down all of her mother’s records on the track.

The documentary shows McColgan’s emotional side as she speaks about her mother, Liz.

“I just feel very, very fortunate to be my mum’s daughter. I’m very proud of that fact as well. I was very fortunate to have a role model like that growing up,” she said.

“I probably didn’t realize it at the time, but now, when I look back for sure, she instilled hard work into me from a very young age and instilled in me that it doesn’t happen overnight either; it’s a long process.”

Rocky Path To Marathon Debut

McColgan was set to make her marathon debut this year at the London Marathon, the first step to breaking the final record her mother had held.

However, she was forced to pull out of the race after an injury.

She relied heavily on her support system, specifically her partner Michael Rimmer, to get through this setback. Rimmer, 37, a three-time Olympian himself, also helps with coaching McColgan.

McColgan said, emotionally, of his support, “Being an athlete himself and putting that aside to help me, it’s a lot and hard to put into words when someone is willing to do that.”

The program “Running in the Family” will unfold on BBC Scotland and be available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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