Eilish McColgan Sets New British Half Marathon Record in Berlin


Superstar UK runner Eilish McColgan set a new UK half marathon record at the 2023 Generali Berlin Half Marathon on Sunday, April 2. 

McColgan broke the tape in a blazing time of 65:43, which beat her previous best—and previous UK half marathon record—of 66:26 by a whopping 43 seconds.

McColgan’s performance at the Berlin Half Marathon fell just shy of the legendary Paula Radcliff’s time of 65:40, which is the fastest-ever half marathon time run by a British woman. Radcliff’s record has stood untouched for 20 years, as she set the record back in 2003 at the Great North Run.

In her Instagram post regarding her victory and new record at the Berlin Half Marathon, McColgan wrote, “Cold and windy morning in Berlin…, but delighted to be the first British woman to win the Berlin Half Marathon!”

In the Berlin Half Marathon, Ethiopian runner Tsigie Gebreselama led through 10km in 30:44 with McColgan trailing behind by 12 seconds. The gap widened at the 15km mark, as Gebreselama passed through in 46:24, 16 seconds ahead of McColgan. 

However, the gutsy McColgan soon caught up and passed Gebreselama, and led the rest of the way, proudly breaking the tape and her own personal best in an epic performance. 

In many ways, 32-year-old Scottish runner McColgan is following in the impressive footsteps of Paula Radcliff, and is arguably as good, if not potentially better, as the UK’s fastest runner ever. 

Indeed, just last month, on March 4, 2023, McColgan broke Radcliff’s long-standing British 10,000-meter record at the Sound Running Ten in San Juan Capistrano, California.

There, McColgan bested Radcliff’s 10,000m time of 30:01.09, set back in 2002 when she won the European title in Munich in the driving rain. McColgan entered the record books with a time of 30:00.86.

McColgan is preparing to make her marathon debut at the London Marathon on April 23, 2023. 

It’s only natural for the comparisons of Eilish McColgan and Paula Radcliff to continue, as running fans wait with bated breath to see if McColgan can take down yet another of Radcliff’s running records.

When Radcliff ran the 65:40 half marathon, she went on to run and win the London Marathon that same year in 2:15:25. This still stands as one of the fastest marathon times ever run by a woman.

McColgan hopes to break this time in her marathon debut on the same course.

Full results of the 2023 Generali Berlin Half Marathon can be found here.

You can follow Eilish McColgan in her pursuit of smashing the London Marathon record, along with her other running adventures, on Instagram.

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Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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