Commonwealth gold medalist Ellish McColgan announced as honorary starter for 2022 Great North Run

A Commonwealth gold medallist has been announced as the official honour starter of the 2022 Great North Run.

Eilish McColgan, 31, from Scotland, will start the run following an extraordinary year which has seen her set a new British record over 5km on the roads and beat Paula Radcliffe's 21-year-old British half marathon record.

Ellish also took the longstanding European and UK 10km record at the Great Manchester Run and won Commonwealth Gold and Silver in Birmingham.

The Great North Run will return to its original route, finishing in South Shields, for the first time in three years and founder Sir Brenden Foster is delighted Ellish will be kicking off the run.

Commonwealth gold medallist Eilish McColgan

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    He said: “It’s a real honour to welcome Eilish to the start line on Sunday after an incredibly successful year of competition.

    “She has been an amazing ambassador for our sport and continues to inspire people around the country on and off the track. I’m sure our runners will be delighted to have the opportunity to congratulate her in person.

    “Her commitment to supporting young athletes through the establishment of her non-profit, Giving Back to the Track, is truly commendable and demonstrates her dedication to ensuring fair and equal opportunities for everyone to have the chance to get involved in athletics.”

    Eilish is a former competitor in the Junior Great North Run and to celebrate those who might follow in her footsteps, the winners of the Junior Boys and Girls races will be offered the opportunity to stand alongside her on the starters’ platform, set 60,000 runners on their way across the start line at the 41st Great North Run.

    Eilish said, “I loved competing in the Junior Great North Run as kid, the atmosphere and big race experience is such an exciting thing to experience at that age. I can’t wait to meet the winners of the Junior race and share this incredible experience with them.

    “The Great North Run is an iconic event and it’s a true honour to be able to set all these inspiring runners on their way. I absolutely loved taking part last year, so I’m thrilled to be able to play a part in the day and celebrate what has been an incredible season for me.”

    The Great North Run will take place on Sunday, September 11.