🏃♂️🏃♀️ The Vitality London 10000 is all set for the streets of the capital with none other than Olympic legend Sir Mo Farah headlining the show. Spectating is free on the route.
The waiting is over for one of the most popular road races on the London scene, as the Vitality London 10000 returns to central London for the first time since 2019 when a record 19,465 participants crossed the finish line.
The race starts on the famous red tarmac of The Mall (elite women’s and men’s races at 10am) before heading out through Westminster into the City of London. The route takes in some of the capital’s most iconic landmarks, including Admiralty Arch, St Paul’s Cathedral, Mansion House, the Bank of England, the Old Bailey, Somerset House, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, before finishing by Buckingham Palace.
Sir Mo Farah has confirmed he will take part in the 2022 elite men’s race. Farah, the most decorated athlete in British track and field history, has not raced since last June after a fractured foot dashed his hopes of running at last year’s Tokyo Olympic Games and adding to his four Olympic gold medals, won in London 2012 and Rio 2016.
Now recovered from injury, the 39-year-old is preparing for the 2022 season, with the Vitality London 10000 – an event he has won on seven occasions – his first confirmed race of the year.
Farah said: “I’m really looking forward to getting out there and racing again at an event that I really love. I’ve been working hard to get back into shape following my injury last summer and I’ve got a few more months of hard training ahead of me, so it’s good to have a target like the Vitality London 10,000 to work towards.
“I have great memories of the event. I have won it seven times and racing in central London is something you can never get bored of. The atmosphere among the thousands of participants is always fantastic and I can’t wait to be part of it again.”
Farah’s wins at the Vitality London 10,000 came in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2018 and 2019. He set the British 10K record of 27 minutes and 44 seconds in the 2010 race, a time equalled by Emile Cairess in Valencia earlier this year.
Farah will face stiff opposition in the shape of Scotland’s Andy Butchart. The 2016 Olympic 5000m finalist – and two-time winner of the race – is in great form heading into a big year of championship athletics having run 27:36.77 on the track in March. Butchart is joined by the likes of the evergreen Chris Thompson (who turned 41 this month), Joshua Griffiths and Phil Sesemann – all three targeting the marathon distance for Team GB in 2022.
The elite women’s race features a strong Scottish contingent. Scot Eilish McColgan comes into the event fresh from setting a new British 5km record of 14:45 on the roads, following a 30:52 run at the Great Manchester Run 10k last October which was the third-fastest ever run by a Brit. Fellow Scot and Olympian Steph Twell, is back in central London on the course where she won the race 2018 and 2019.
While Twell and McColgan will fancy their chances, both will face fierce competition from Samantha Harrison and Jess Piasecki who in the last year have run 10km times on the road to put them in the top 10 of UK all-time rankings. Harrison posting 31:11 and Piasecki a 31:19 to go fifth and sixth respectively on the list.
The men’s race is headlined by Team GB Paralympic legend (six-time gold medallist) and eight-time London Marathon winner David Weir, while fellow Team GB Olympic medallist Shelly Woods will look to win the women’s race in front of a home crowd.
In addition to the racing the Vitality Wellness Festival (a free event) is once again planned for Green Park between 9am to 2pm TBC. Packed with fun activities to suit all ages, the Festival is a great place for participants to meet up with friends and relatives and enjoy a wealth of entertainment and fitness advice.
In previous years free activities on offer have included medal making and flag decorating, along with more energetic kids coaching sessions and races. There’s also been the chance to chill out with yoga classes and plenty of places to enjoy a picnic or pick up a bite to eat. Not to mention the opportunity to take on the Tumblelator – a giant treadmill where you can choose a relaxed pace or go for a new world record!
🕘 Race starts at 10am with the first wave of runners including the elite races. Last wave will set off by 11.15am. The Wellness Festival is open between 9am to 2pm.
🎟️ Spectating is free on the course.
The course and where to watch: The Vitality London 10000 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).
🚊🚗 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.