The motivation propelling Eilidh Doyle into a ninth season on the senior athletics stage is deceptively simple – the chance to compete in Glasgow at the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships.
Doyle, from Perth, is Scotland’s most decorated track athlete and continues to produce podium finishes when it matters.
She secured a third successive Commonwealth Games 4x400m relay silver on the Gold Coast in April, before bagging bronze in Berlin at the European Championships.
Stoking up again for 2019 is proving no challenge for the 31-year-old, who can’t wait to thrill her home crowd next March.
— Eilidh Doyle (@EilidhDoyle) 24 November 2018
“You get to the end of every season, evaluate what shape you’re in and how everything’s feeling,” said Doyle, speaking at the celebration of 100 days to go until Glasgow 2019.
“I did get questions about whether I’d carry on but when 2018 finished, the prospect of competing in Glasgow provided me with so much motivation.
“As a Scottish athlete, how could you turn down that chance? That feeling took me into winter training.
“Every season you’ve got to stop, pause and deliberate on how you feel because winter training doesn’t get any easier.
“I’m chomping at the bit. I take every day as it comes but I love what I do and I’m not retiring any time soon.
“Glasgow 2019 will be special. Most of the European Championships were in Glasgow over the summer but the athletics was in Berlin.
Get closer to the Glasgow 2019 action by becoming a volunteer! ?
We’re looking for young people (18+) to help out with our Victory Ceremonies for athletes! ?
— Glasgow 2019Athletics (@Glasgow2019) 29 November 2018
“It’ll be great to be back, have a home championship and the Glasgow crowd behind me.”
Doyle has plenty of indoor pedigree to draw on, as well as the backing of a partisan Scottish support.
She won bronze at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham earlier this year and enjoyed a breakout week at the European Indoors in 2013, claiming relay gold and hurdles silver.
Doyle will be faced with a battle royale to make the GB team over 400m, with relay colleagues Zoey Clark and Laviai Nielsen hot on her heels to grab individual spots.
But having pulled round from the first serious injury of her career and recently relocating from Bath back north of the border, the sprint ace is refreshed and ready to challenge.
There’s a ? party coming to Glasgow next March… but don’t take it from us ?
Scotland’s most decorated athlete @EilidhDoyle wants YOU to secure your seat ?♀️
— Glasgow 2019Athletics (@Glasgow2019) 23 November 2018
“I was quite happy with 2018,” she said.
“My calf injury hampered me at times and it was a new experience to miss training time, feeling I wasn’t quite at my best.
“Experiences like getting to carry the flag for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games will stay with me for a long time.
“I’m back among friends and family in Scotland now and it’s great to be in the country in the build-up to next year.
“I was living in Bath during the build-up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games and I think I missed a lot of the hype.
“It’s going to be a tough event with lots of proven performers on the track – I’m hoping to be right amongst that.”
The European Athletics Indoor Championship Glasgow 2019 is guaranteed to give the Scottish crowd unmissable entertainment. The full competition schedule is now live on www.glasgow2019athletics.com with tickets available across all events