Eilish McColgan is a Scottish runner who comes from impressive pedigree. She’s the daughter of Liz McColgan-Nuttall, who’s a former 10,000m world champion. Eilish broke her mother’s record over the weekend at the Great South Run in the 10-mile. Eilish finished in 51:38, nearly 30 seconds ahead of her mom’s former record set at 52:00 in 1997 (when Eilish was six years old). This also moves Eilish to second on the British all-time list, behind only Paula Radcliffe (former marathon world record-holder), who has run 51:11 over the distance.
Both McColgan women have very impressive running resumes. Eilish was 10th in the 5,000m final at the World Championships in September and her mom is a former world champion. Eilish is now coached by her mother.
When Liz told her then-sponsor Nike that she was pregnant with Eilish in 1990, Nike reportedly terminated her contract. Liz was one of the best runners in the world at the time, and went on to return to the sport post-baby and win the World Championships 10,000m title in 1991.
Since women like Liz (among others who came forward earlier this year) have spoken out about unfair pregnancy policies, Nike has revised theirs.
After several US athletes, including Alysia Montaño, six-time Olympic gold medallist Allyson Felix and former elite marathoner Kara Goucher publicly criticized Nike for financially penalizing athletes who decide to start a family, the company announced significant changes. As with many professions, it’s not unusual in US athletes’ contracts for compensation to be tied to performance, and according to a letter shared on social media by Felix, Nike has now promised no performance-related pay reductions for 18 months, dating from one month into an athlete’s pregnancy. This effectively gives a mother 10 months to return to competition form.
Thankfully, most professional runners’ contracts now guarantee pregnancy protections.