Eilish McColgan’s 10k record invalid after run course found to be 150m short

Great Scottish Run organisers have apologised to Commonwealth Games gold medallist Eilish McColgan after her European and British records were invalidated when it was found the course was 150 metres short due to “human error”.

McColgan had previously finished the 10,000m race in Glasgow in 30 minutes and 18 seconds on Sunday, October 2.

Organisers of the race, The Great Run Company, say the course was “not laid out in line with the previously agreed plans”.

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McColgan said she it was not “the end of the world”.

Scotland’s Eilish McColgan celebrates after winning the Women’s 5000m Final at Alexander Stadium on day ten of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Picture date: Sunday August 7, 2022.
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"Human errors happen,” she told BBC Scotland.

"The organisers have been so apologetic. They feel very embarrassed

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"But I have no bad words to say. I only ran a second faster in Glasgow than in Manchester earlier this year, so it doesn't really change my year in all honesty.

"Yes it would have been nice to finish my season on a personal best and another record, but for me it is not the end of the world.”

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Scotland’s Eilish McColgan with her Silver Medal after the Women’s 5000m Final at Alexander Stadium on day ten of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The company phoned McColgan directly on Tuesday to explain and apologise, saying there was “no excuse” for the incident. They have offered those who took part a 10 per cent discount on entry to the 2023 event.

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It was the first time the event had returned since 2019.

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Paul Foster, chief executive of the Great Run Company, said: “We were recently made aware of a discrepancy with the 10k course at this year’s Great Scottish Run. Following an internal investigation, we have established it was 150m short.

“The shortfall in the distance was wholly due to human error. An area of the course was not laid out in line with the previously agreed plans.

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“This error had a marginal knock-on to the half marathon, but it was within tolerance and the course on the day was valid.

“We’re extremely disappointed that this happened at the 10k, on what was an incredibly positive return to the city for the Great Scottish Run following the pandemic.

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“We will be reviewing our internal processes to ensure we cannot make this mistake again.

“We know we’ve let our customers down on this occasion. There are no excuses for this happening and we’re very sorry.”

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McColgan, who was crowned 10,000m champion at this year’s Commonwealth Games in August, had not run outdoors in Scotland since the 2014 Commonwealth Games. She had only competed in the Great Scottish Run after withdrawing from the London Marathon.

McColgan admitted she was not surprised when contacted by Great Scottish Run organisers to tell her the course was short.

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"My gut feeling was that it was short,” she said.

"I crossed the line and said straight away to my partner 'I think that is out by about 15 or 20 seconds’.

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"It's not a huge amount, but I am used to running 10ks – I know pace and I know distance, and that to me did not feel like a 30:18. It did not feel that pace. So it didn't come as a huge surprise to me."

The original achievement by McColgan had capped off a remarkable year where she had won a silver in the 5,000m in Birmingham, plus two medals in the European Championships.

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About 20,000 runners took part in this month’s Great Scottish Run.

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