European indoor 3000m bronze medallist Eilish McColgan will look back on 2017 with great pride and now she has another victory - and another course record - to go with her superb success.
McColgan was all smiles once again on Sunday when she won the Percy Pud 10k in Sheffield in 32:32, defending her title and once more smashing the course record. She took nine seconds off her time from last year as she finished second overall as Andrew Heyes won the men’s race in 29:42.
Felt a little strange running an entire 10K in 2nd place (from gun to tape..bar about 100m! ) but loved returning to Percy Pud this year to better the course record! @andrewrheyes was just a little too quick to use as a pacemaker.. setting a course record ! pic.twitter.com/TXvTSaxlOS
— Eilish Mccolgan (@EilishMccolgan) December 3, 2017
Her mother Liz’s victory in the 10,000m at the IAAF World Championships in Tokyo in 1991 remains one of the greatest front-running performances of all-time but Eilish is now carving out her own reputation and will be surely be looking towards the podium next summer at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships.
Tenth in the 5000m at the IAAF World Championships in London, McColgan then broke her personal best for the distance a few weeks later in Brussels when she ran a Scottish record of 14:48.49 to move to fourth on the British all-time lists behind Paula Radcliffe, Jo Pavey and Zola Budd.
It was one of seven personal best times she has achieved in 2017, the others being 1500m (4:01.60), 3000m (8:31.00), 10,000m (32:10.59), 10km (32:01) and indoors, 1500m (4:19.99) and 3000m (8:43.02).
McColgan was so much in command on Sunday, winning by almost three minutes from Calli Thackeray (35:16) and Sarah Lowery (36:25).
Wanders makes it a hat-trick on the roads
In Geneva on Saturday, Switzerland’s Julien Wanders produced one of the best results of his young career when he won over 7.32km for victory in the 40th edition of the Course de l’Escalade.
It was a record day at the event with 45,000 runners taking part and Wanders, 21, triumphed in 20:59 as he beat Kenya’s Fredrick Kipkosgei (21:08) with French steeplechaser Yoann Kowal the next best European in sixth in 21:46.
This was his third victory in as many weekends having recently won the Basel City Run 7.55km and the Corrida Bulloise 8km but it was actually the colours of Kenya which crossed the line first as Wanders was wearing their vest.
Speaking to Le Matin, he said: “I could have run with the classic blue jersey but I found it more cool to put on the one from Kenya. There was no backstory. I just wanted to do a dedication to my training partners.”
In the women’s race, Britain’s Stephanie Twell (24:03) was third and Switzerland’s Fabienne Schlumpf was fourth (23:52) as Ethiopian Helen Bekele (23:50) beat Kenya’s Magdalene Masai by two seconds.
McCormack sharpens up for Samorin
The SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Samorin, Slovakia on 10 December is very much the last major event on the calendar and while for many it is a time of fine-tuning, Ireland’s Fionnuala McCormack ensured she remained as competitive as ever.
A two-time gold medallist at the championships, McCormack will look to make an impression again and she will head to Slovakia for her 15th appearance in the event on the back of winning the Jingle Bells 5km in Dublin in 16:01.
Staying with the festive theme in Switzerland, Portugal’s Bruno Albuquerque (25:07) won the men’s race at the 30th Gossau Christmas Run over 8.5km with home success in the women’s race as two-time European indoor 800m champion Selina Buchel stepped up in distance to triumph in 29:03.