What a year this has been for Eilish McColgan, the 27-year-old has, amongst countless other achievements, set a Scottish women’s 5,000m record in Brussels, placed first in the prestigious Leeds Abbey Dash, and, yesterday (Sunday 4 December), capped this off with a course record at the Percy Pud 10K.
Organised by Steel City Striders, the Percy Pud has seen its status steadily rise since 1993 and is now established as one of South Yorkshire’s most popular 10ks. The race is a regular sell-out with the 2,200 places snapped within 36 hours of going on sale.
McColgan, who also took first in 2016, defended her title in convincing style in 32:23, placing her second overall and sliced seven seconds off the time she set last year (also a course record performance). The Scottish athlete was the first female runner to cross the line in 32:23, nine seconds quicker than the time she set in 2016, giving her second overall. Calli Thackery (35:18) and Sarah Lowery (36:25) were her closest competitors.
Clearly delighted with her performance, McColgan later tweeted: “Felt a little strange running an entire 10K in second place (from gun to tape...bar about 100m but loved returning to Percy Pud this year to better the course record! Andrew Heyes was just a little too quick as a pacemaker – setting a course record – 29:40!”
In the men’s field, Hallamshire’s Andrew Heyes found himself out in front without much company for the majority of the race but, despite this, still managed to set a new course record, 15 seconds quicker than the previous best held by Mohammed Abu-Rezeq. Heyes’ clubmate, Andrew Challenger, was second male in 32:34, with Steve Franklin (32:35) in third.
The new course record holder was particularly pleased to come away with victory on home turf: “Not often I get to race at home in Sheffield, especially on streets I trained on as a kid. Absolutely chuffed to come away with a win and course record at Percy Pud.”