Defending champions Sir Mo Farah and Steph Twell – in the men’s and women’s races respectively – are the headline acts at today’s Vitality London 10,000 in the heart of London. Spectating is free on the route.
None other than Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill is on starters duties at this year’s London 10,000 where she will also present the medals. The heptathlon legend will set off the runners on the famous red tarmac of The Mall on a route which takes in some of London’s most iconic sights before finishing in front of Buckingham Palace
In the men’s race Mo Farah, fresh off his fifth place at the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon, will be looking for his sixth victory at the Vitality London 10000 after previous wins in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2018.
But he will face stiff competition from two-time previous winner Andy Butchart who, after a 2018 ruined by injury, has returned to competitive action in fine fashion this year. The Scottish athlete, who was sixth in the 5000m at the 2016 Olympics, ran a World Championships qualifying time of 13:18:16 for 5000m in the USA earlier this month.
Farah and Butchart will line up with a strong domestic field that includes six men who have run sub 29 minutes including Nick Goolab – the fastest man over the distance in the UK this year (28:22).
The women’s race also has a loaded domestic field that includes three former winners: defending champion Steph Twell, 2016 victor Lily Partridge and Gemma Steel who won in 2014.
Charlotte Arter, the reigning British 10000m champion on the track, and Tish Jones, who was the second British woman home at the Virgin Money London Marathon and qualified for the World Championships, are also racing, as are three of the six-strong team that Great Britain sent to the World Cross-Country Championships in March: Kate Avery, Jennifer Nesbitt and Jess Piasecki.
The course and where to watch: The London 10,000 course is ideal for spectators. The runners race along the Strand twice, at 1km and then again at 8km, making this a great place to watch the action. The course passes many of London’s famous sights including Admiralty Arch, Nelson’s Column, St Paul’s Cathedral, Mansion House, the Bank of England, the Old Bailey, Somerset House, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. This course map can be viewed (left/above) and also printed off.
In addition to the racing the Vitality Wellness Festival in Green Park – which is completely free – will be open between 9am and 2pm with interviews, athlete meet & greets and Q&As taking place on the main stage. Meanwhile a whole range of family-friendly activities, coaching and taster sessions will be available. Be sure to check out The Tumbleator if you want to check your pace against the elites while a Hub and Studio will be offering a BMI health check. The popular pedal-powered smoothie bikes will be in operation alongside a variety of fitness classes provided by Virgin Active while the Wellness Zone is the place to be to energise the body and mind at yoga and pilates classes for the whole family. There’s also a Kid’s Zine with face painting, crafts and games along with a food court.
Race starts at 10am. The Wellness Festival continues through until 2pm
Spectating is free.
Travel tips: Do not attempt to drive to the event as many roads in the area will be closed to traffic. There are numerous tube stations near to the route including Green Park, St James’s Park and Charing Cross which are within walking distance of the start. The latter is also convenient for viewing on the Strand where the runners pass by twice.