European Indoor 3000m champion on Night of the 10,000m PBs and smashing her own glass ceiling

Amy-Eloise Markovc goes into this year’s Night of the 10,000m PBs off the back of a 2022 which saw the On athlete claim personal bests outdoors in the 3000m, 5000m, 10,000m, 5km and half marathon.

The 27-year-old athlete, however, agonisingly missed out on claiming a first major outdoor track medal at both the Commonwealth Games and European Championships.

Markovc finished fourth in Birmingham, fifth in Munich and was also 12th in her 5000m heat at the World Championships in Oregon.

She claimed a first British 5000m title but the aim for 2023 is to focus on the competition in front of her on a global scale and not just look at times.

At Highgate this weekend (May 20), Markovc will put that to the test as she opens up her outdoor season at Night of the 10,000m PBs, an event she first did last year and finished only behind fellow Brit Jess Warner-Judd.

Markovc’s time of 31:25.57 she set at Parliament Hill remains her PB and placed her 10th on the UK all-time list in the process.

In what doubles up as a qualifier for the World Championships, Markovc will hope to nail the standard of 31:10.00 and be one of the top two Brits to automatically qualify for Budapest.

Amy-Eloise Markovc poised to strike (Mark Shearman)

What’s the best bit about Night of the 10,000m PBs?

The event just makes athletics and running more engaging. It’s different. People who are really into running will love watching high calibre athletes run 5km or 10km races but for some who are on the fence or it’s their first event, it makes it really interesting as there’s always something going on.

For the athletes it’s great as everything feels a bit more intimate than being in a stadium. It’s such a cool meet as there are people of all levels competing and the races get faster and faster throughout the night.

READ MORE: Night of the 10,000m PBs preview

I ran Highgate last year and I wasn’t 100% so I always wanted to go back and give it a good run. I feel like I can run a really good 10,000m and I wanted to do it regardless of being 70% or 90% because it’s such a good event but it’s always nice going into it feeling like you’re in contention.

I hadn’t run a 10,000m before 2020. I’ve never been in an environment where so many people are excited about running a 10,000m. It’s really palatable to everyone watching and it means that so many British athletes can feed off the energy you got from the festival vibes to run a quick time.

How has the start of 2023 been?

I was struggling with a few health issues earlier on in the year including a couple of illnesses and a torn disc.

That took a while to sort out and fitness came back way faster than expected. Training has been ticking over really nicely and I feel in a great shape to race. Sometimes it can be easy to focus on times too much, especially when qualifying standards are on the line, and it’s more about competing. I feel like I could get a pretty substantial 10,000m personal best and I’m excited to give myself that opportunity for success.

The past few months has been a bit like a yo-yo as my body adjusted post-injury. The focus is on enjoying what I am doing and I feel fulfilled and love what I do every day. I felt like I was running out of time so it was just about focusing on the day-to-day.

What about last season with so many personal bests?

I actually came off last season feeling that I’d under-performed. I felt like we got my peak wrong and I peaked way too early in the season so by the major championships I couldn’t tap into that goodness I had earlier in the year. I obviously made a lot of progress with personal bests but I’m now using last year as experience for this season.

I don’t just want to make championships anymore. I want to perform well and compete against the best of the best. I know my ceiling is so much higher.

How have On helped you as an athlete?

On has been huge in facilitating all the changes I’ve made in the past year. Due to being with them I’ve gone back to the UK and choosing a different coach and set-up. As a brand they’re so engaging regarding athlete feedback and incorporating what we say into products because they’re innovating so quickly.

It’s been amazing running for On. It’s been just under a year since I joined them last June and they’ve been so supportive. It means a lot to have a brand that backs you in this way.

Being with On has helped me move to a base in Loughborough. It’s good as I’m working with Rob Denmark who’s an amazing coach. I train with Melissa Courtney-Bryant and we have a really good dynamic in the group. We also work with athletes like Sam Harrison even though she is coached by Vince Wilson. We are competitors but we collaborate and genuinely want each other to do well.

Jess Warner-Judd leads Amy-Eloise Markovc (Mark Shearman)

What do you make of the strength of British female distance running now?

When you see other athletes doing well it’s inspiring and it pushes you on. When Sam [Harrison] ran that quickly [2:25:59] at the London Marathon that’s only going to help me when we do the longer sessions. The same goes for when Melissa runs a fast 3000m. Times are getting so quick so fast and it’s cool to be a part of.

I think my ceiling is perhaps a lot higher than what someone would think based on my current performances but when you see these athletes achieving these things, it makes you believe it even more.

The focus this year won’t be on time and it will be putting myself in a position to compete at the highest level when it matters the most. The times will hopefully come with that. Having said that, I’d love to PB in events from the 1500m up to the half marathon as the season unfolds. The focus will be on the 5000m and I have a lot of unfinished the business in the event but I also feel there’s opportunity in the 10,000m.

Could you even do a marathon in the future?

I will definitely do a marathon at some point. It’s a bit of a rite to passage as a runner and the distance does intrigue me. I’ve only ever done one half marathon and I feel like I need to do a few more of those first! I just love testing myself and I’m curious to see what I could do.

What about reflection and your journey in athletics so far?

I think sometimes achieving your ambitions in this sport can take longer than you think. I had a few years where I wasn’t really competing at all and I think I really struggled from about 18-21. I think that slowed down my progression as I felt I was starting to scratch and I lost that ambition when I was younger of wanting to become an Olympic athlete. That was the ambition.

On one hand I’ve stayed in the sport a lot longer than I thought I would but on the other hand I couldn’t imagine life without it. It’s been a long journey with a lot of up and downs and I’ll keep doing it for as long as I can.

Budapest 23 and Paris 24 are the two major goals over the next two years. I’m trying to put myself in a position to make those teams and then be in contention at them. As long as I walk off the track knowing I’ve done everything I could’ve done when analysing the context of the race and I’m proud of that, then that’s success for me. I hope that means being around the medals but I want to represent may country proudly.

For fast times, festival vibes and free entry for spectators, see On Track Nights.

» Find out more about Night of 10,000m PBs here

» Subscribe to AW magazine here