High stakes elite athletics meets a carnival atmosphere as the Night of The 10k PBs makes its eagerly anticipated return to Hampstead Heath. Spectating is free!
CONGRATULATIONS to Jessica Judd who won the Women’s Elite 10k race to book her place on the GB team for the World Championships in Oregon this July. Likewise to Amy-Eloise Markovc and Samantha Harrison who both produced PBs – of 31:25.57 and 31:30.63 respectively – to register the qualifying times for the Commonwealth Games and European Championships later this year.
In the Men’s Elite 10k race Italy’s Yeman Crippa – repeated his victory in the 2019 race, this time setting a course record of 26:16.18 with Sam Atkin in second and Emile Cairess in third in 27:31.98 and 27:34.08 respectively. Although neither GB man was able to better the Oregon qualifying mark they were inside the 28:15.00 time required for European Championships.
Earlier in the evening, Matt Stonier added his name to an illustrious winner Emsley Carr Mile winners. The 1500m BUCS title holder won by the narrowest of margins, overhauling Piers Copeland in the last few metres of the race to finish in a time of 3:54.89. Copeland was second in 3:54.91, with Irishman Andrew Coscoran just a few steps behind in 3:55.31.
Australia’s Georgia Griffith took the spoils in the Millicent Fawcett mile which kicked off a series of four elite races. Griffith won in a time of 4:27.81 with Ireland’s Sarah Healy second in 4:29.03. Italian Federica Del Buono made up the podium places coming home third in 4:29.74.
Stay tuned here for news of the date for the 2023 Night of the 10k PBs as soon as it’s published.
Strap yourselves in for athletics but not as you’ve known it at ‘The Glastonbury of 10K Running’, back at Parliament Hill Athletics Track for the first time since 2019. Run by Highgate Harriers and established in 2013 with a goal of improving British racing standards over 10,000m, the Night of the 10k PBs has become a must-see night on the London sporting calendar (see below for the full timetable and our ‘ones to watch’ in the key races).
The annual celebration of 25-lap racing fuses music, entertainment and athletics to create a unique sporting occasion. The #Lane3BeerNCheer ethos includes circus entertainment, the famous ‘lactic tunnels of love’, a home straight pedestrian bridge, infield spectating, live music and a back straight DJ, as spectators get to watch the elite races up close and personal like never before.
As ever the stakes are high at this year’s event which incorporates the men’s and women’s British 10,000m Championships, at 8.45pm and 9.25pm respectively. Both are trial races for a place on the GB team heading to the World Championships in Oregon, USA (first two GB athletes in each race are guaranteed a spot if they beat the qualifying time below) this July, and also provide essential qualifying opportunities for Home Nation athletes targeting this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Not to mention they’re a key performance indicator for athletes targeting the European Championships in Munich in August.
Also taking place tonight: the iconic Emsley Carr Mile (men’s) and the Millicent Fawcett Mile (women’s). First run in 1953 the Emsley Carr mile has been won by some of the greatest runners in history including Haile Gebrselassie, Hicham El Guerrouj and British legends Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett. Current champion Elliot Giles won the 2021 race at Gateshead in a time of 3:52.49. The inaugural Millicent Fawcett Mile took place at the Olympic Stadium in 2018 and was won by Sifan Hassan (a double Olympic gold medallist at Tokyo) in 4:14.71. Tonight’s races are at 8.10pm and 8.20pm.
Race Organiser Ben Pochee said: “After two track seasons in the Covid-induced wilderness, we’re delighted to host Night of the 10k PBs again and I’m very excited by the multi-layered plethora of GB and Home Country qualification opportunities the event will provide.
“The atmosphere, the energy and the thrill of our sport is provided by you the passionate race loving crowd, so please RSVP to our annual 25 lap club knees-up on May 14th, there’s going to be a party on our Parli Hill track and you’re all invited!”
ONES TO WATCH
Millicent Fawcett Mile (Women) at 8.10pm
Melissa Courtney-Bryant, Ellie Baker and Sabrina Sinha are three athletes looking to be the first British winner of the race. Melissa Courtney-Bryant representing Poole AC will start as one of the favourites with a PB over 1500m of 4:01.81 from the Stockholm Diamon League in August 2020. Rising Shaftesbury Barnet star and European U23 silver medallist Ellie Baker boasts a 1500m PB of 4:06.54 from last summer and has started 2022 in fine form, while Sabrina Sinha was fourth at the UK Indoor Championships in February.
Irish duo Sarah Healy and Georgie Hartigan are live contenders, along with with Australian pair Georgina Griffith and Sarah Billings. All four have broken the 4:10 barrier for 1500m, Griffith with a PB of 4:04.17 from her fifth place at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Italian champion Federica Del Buono completes the line-up.
Emsley Carr Mile (Men) at 8.20pm
Piers Copeland and George Mills are just two Brits aiming to be in the podium mix. Copeland, fifth in the race last year, won the UK Indoor 1500m championship in February having run a PB of 3:36.12 at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix the week before. Brighton Phoenix athlete Mills, fifth in the European U23 championships last July, has a 3:36.03 best over 1500m.
Charlie Da’Vall Grice has a mile PB of 3:52.64 from the 2016 Prefontaine Classic in Eugene while his 1500m PB of 3:30.62 from Monaco in 2019 places him sixth on the British all-time rankings. If he can reproduce that sort of form Grice will be tough to beat. Archie Davis, another from the Brighton Phoenix stable, was an impressive third in last year’s race in a PB of 3:54.27 and will look to go one if not two places better at Highgate. And keep an eye out for Shaftesbury Barnet’s Henry McLuckie – a bronze medallist at the European U20 Championships in Tallinn last year – looking to make his mark at senior level.
The highest ranked athlete in the field is Azeddine Habz from France. Habz is 12th on the world rankings with a 1500m PB of 3:31.74 from Monaco last summer. Andrew Coscoran, who was seventh at the European Indoors Championships last year, is one of three Irishmen in the field along with Paul Robinson and Luke McCann. Coscoran, 25, has an outdoor PB of 3:35.66 for 1500m.
10,000m WOMEN’S UK ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS & WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS TRIALS @ 8.45PM
*World Championship qualifying time = 31:25.00 ~ the first two GB athletes to finish will automatically be selected for the World Championships, provided the athlete has already achieved the qualifying time since 1st January 2021 (up to and including tonight’s race), or they do so by 26 June 2022 at the latest.
Olympian Jessica Judd – a finalist in the women’s 10k at the Tokyo Olympics – has the *qualifying time and will start as favourite for the race after she narrowly missed out on beating Eilish McColgan in last year’s 10k British Championships which were held in Birmingham instead of London due to Covid. McColgan – in great form on the roads after setting a Scottish record of 30:23 at the Vitality London 10,000 earlier this month, just two seconds outside Paula Radcliffe’s British and European record – pulled out of tonight’s race earlier this week after missing a chunk of spring training which has delayed her return to the track until June.
Other athletes expected to be in the battle for a podium place include Amy-Eloise Markovc – who has a PB on the track of 31:25.91 set in California last May – and Verity Ockenden who finished fourth in last year’s British Championships. Likewise in-form Samantha Harrison will be looking to build on her performance at last month’s Comeback 5000 in London which she won in a PB of 15:32.07 and Charlotte Arter is back at the race where she was first Brit home in 2018.
Cross country experts Jessica Gibbon (this season’s National and Southern XC champion) and Eleanor Bolton (second in the National after winning the Northern XC) will look to transfer their superb form on the mud to the track.
10,000m MEN’S UK ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS & WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS TRIALS @ 9.25pm
*World Championship qualifying time = 27:28.00 ~ the first two GB athletes to finish will automatically be selected for the World Championships, provided the athlete has already achieved the qualifying time since 1st January 2021 (up to and including tonight’s race), or they do so by 26 June 2022 at the latest.
The fastest Brit on paper is Sam Atkin who has a PB of 27:26.58 which saw him qualify for last year’s Tokyo Olympics. However, Atkin hasn’t run the World Champs *qualifying time since 1 January 2021 so he will be chasing that down tonight. Atkin ran an indoor 5k in Boston in 13:03.64 in February to suggest he is the man to beat. Emile Cairess will be a major threat if he can reproduce his road form on the track. Cairess clocked 27:44 at Valencia Ibercaja 10k back in January to equal Mo Farah’s British record (on the roads) set in London in 2010. Another man vying to make his 10k mark on the track is Jake Smith. Previously known for his exploits on the road – including a 60:31 half marathon in October 2020 to go third on the all-time UK list and a 2:11 clocking in his debut marathon in Cheshire last year – it will be fascinating to see if Smith can mix it with the 10k specialists. Meanwhile Ellis Cross, surprise winner of the 2022 Vitality London 10,000 ahead of Mo Farah in a time of 28:40, gets the opportunity to show what he can do on the track.
In a deep domestic field Olympian Ben Connor – who represented Team GB in the Tokyo marathon and the first Brit home in this race in 2019 – will be looking to build on his win at last month’s Comback 5000 in a time of 13:49.15, while Mahamed Mahamed could be the surprise package after his brilliant form during the cross country season. Mahamed was imperious when winning the men’s National Cross Country Championship in February at Parliament Hill where the finish line was just a stone’s throw from tonight’s action.
The international entries are also loaded with potential winners. Richard Ringer from Germany is back on the track where he won the race in 2018 and will be a real threat if he can replicate his 27:36.52 run from four years ago. Another former winner of the race – Italy’s Yeman Crippa – has a great chance of repeating his 2019 win if he is in the sort of form that saw him post a 27:10.76 PB at the World Championships later that year.
Last but not least Mohamed Mohumed from Germany could be too hot for anyone to handle if he has recovered from last week’s Sound Running Track 5k in California where Mohumed chased home Olympic 1500m champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen to finish second in a time of 13:03.18
🎟️ Spectating is free.
🕒 Night of the 10k PBs timetable
3pm and 3.45pm – Race 1 and 2, both 10km men
4.30pm – Race 3, 10km women
5.15pm – Race 4, 10km men
6pm – Circus Theatre 30 mins show with VIP guests
6.45pm – Race 5, 10km men
7.20pm – Spikey Will (Man of Danger) Part 1
7.30pm – Race 6, 10km men
8.10pm – Millicent Fawcett Mile (Women)
8.20pm – Emsley Carr Mile (Men)
8.25pm – Spikey Will (Man of Danger) Part 2
8.30pm – Medal Ceremony for Millicent Fawcett Mile & Emsley Carr Mile
8.35pm – World Athletics Heritage Plaque presentation to English Cross Country
8.45pm – Race 7, 10,000m Women’s UK Athletics Championships & World Champs Trials
9.25pm – Race 8, 10,000m Men’s UK Athletics Championships & World Champs Trials
10pm – Women’s and Men’s Medal Ceremony
🚊🚗 Travel tips: Public transport is recommended as parking available on surrounding roads is limited and subject to local restrictions. The nearest railway station to the Parliament Hill track is Gospel Oak (just a few minutes walk) on the London Overground. Buses 24 and 168 stop nearby and if travelling by tube Kentish Town and Belsize Park are both a 10-15 minute walk away. Plan your journey at the Transport for London website.