SCOTLAND’S greatest ever female runner Liz McColgan-Nuttall believes the best could yet be to come from her family, but she has acknowledged that her children’s biggest obstacle is overcoming the expectations associated with their family name.

In an inspirationally candid in-depth interview with the Let’s Get Running podcast, the now Doha-based 1991 world champion has spoken warmly about the impact of her oldest daughter Eilish’s birth on her career, the coach/athlete relationship they now have, but also the prospects of sons Martin and Kieran who are just beginning to get into the sport.

McColgan, who along with fellow Olympian Zola Budd made a guest appearance at the Stirling Marathon last month, still runs regularly and is clearly profoundly grateful to athletics for giving her an alternative to bleak life prospects.

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She noted that she had worked in a Dundee jute mill, while one of the girls she was friendly with as a youngster died as a result of drug abuse when she was 23.

Her own children have consequently led a relatively privileged life, but growing up with a world champion mum brought its own complications.

“When they were younger they all wanted to run because they see you running and then, as they get older, especially with myself being as associated with running, it’s very, very hard for them because everybody just assumes they’re going to be really, really good at it, so they kind of shied away from it,” she observed.

Eilish has clearly coped well to become an Olympian in her own right, however, and McColgan-Nuttall revealed that two of her sons are also now beginning to show promise.

“Last year my eldest son Martin, who’s just turned 17, he’s diabetic and has started running to regulate his blood sugars better and he decided he’d like to give it a bash, so in the last year he’s got into training properly,” she said.

“He’s doing track sessions, but he’s actually more an 800-metre runner, he’s not as long distance as myself and Eilish, but he’s got loads of natural speed, so he’s more a track runner than he is a road runner. Whether that develops as he gets older because he’s not done the miles we’ll wait and see, but he’s only been running a year properly.

“Then my middle son Kieran started running three miles just on his own and he’s just won the Angus Schools 1500m, 800m and cross country so he’s now getting into it, but he doesn’t like the association and it’s still early days with him. He kind of shies away from wanting to race because everybody sees the name. He feels the pressure of it more so than the others, but he’s gone up and joined the local Hawkhill Harriers and he goes there one day a week.

“Out of all of the children he was the one who showed most promise, even better than Eilish, but whether he develops into it we’ll wait and see, but he’s a good little runner.”

It is the daughter who became something of a celebrity baby when her mother won the World Championships just a few months after giving birth to her, with whom she currently works most closely, though.

“I’ve coached Eilish since she was 12 and I’m still very heavily involved in her coaching,” said McColgan-Nuttall.

“Obviously I don’t see her quite as much as I’d like, but she comes out at Christmas time and because of the experience we’ve got we work very well together. I probably know more about her day-to-day existence now than I would if she was living with me. We’re very close and our communication in very, very good, so it works really well. It might not work for others but it definitely works with us. I’m not like the normal mum and dad that coaches.

“I’ve got a wealth of great experience behind me as a runner and Eilish totally respects that and because she’s running similar distances now she understands just what I went through.”