England Athletics 10,000m championships & Highgate Harriers Night of the 10,000m PBs

England Athletics 10,000m championships & Highgate Harriers Night of the 10,000m PBs

Saturday 21 May

Jo Pavey at Night of 10,000m PBs 2014The Highgate Harriers Night of the 10,000m PBs will once again be hosting the England Athletics & British Athletics 10,000m Championships – this year even more opportunities are on offer as athletes will be battling for places in the Rio Olympics and coach development opportunities are also on offer.

The Night of the 10,000m PBs takes place at Parliament Hill Athletics Hampstead Heath on Saturday 21 May has become a highlight of the distance running calendar and this year there are even more reasons to be there.

Free to spectators

There will be a total of six 10,000m races:

  • racing starting at 5pm
  • elite men’s race at at 8.15pm 
  • elite women’s race at 9pm 

The event is free for the public, with spectators able to watch the action from close quarters in lane three as the athletes do battle to be crowned British and English champion as well as secure places in the British Athletics team for the 10,000m at the Rio Olympic Games.

For those not able to attend Vinco will again be providing online video streaming of the event which will be available here and we wil also be providing updates on Twitter @englandathletic.

The first two eligible British athletes past the post in the A races will be guaranteed a place at the Olympic Games, as long as they possess a valid qualifying mark of 28:00 for men and 32:15 for women.

The women’s race will be headlined by European 10,000m champion Jo Pavey (Coach: Gavin Pavey; Club: Exeter) as the 42 year old bids to qualify for her fifth Olympic Games.  Pavey will face a strong test however, as Kate Avery (Coach: Tony Simmons, Club: Shildon) and Beth Potter (Coach: Mick Woods, Club: Shaftesbury Barnet) have already achieved the qualifying mark for the Olympic Games with times of 31:41.44 and 32:03.45.

Further names to look out for will be Rhona Auckland (Coach: Joyce Hogg, Club: Banchory Stonehaven), Jessica Coulson (Mick Woods; Stockport) and Lily Partridge (Coach: self, Club: Aldershot Farnham & District), who are all within sight of 32:15, and Charlotte Arter (Coach: James Thie, Club: Cardiff), who has been in excellent form over the winter.

A European element will be added to the women’s race by France’s Sophie Duarte, the 2013 European Cross Country Champion, and two-time Olympian Krisztina Papp of Hungary. 

European silver medallist Andy Vernon (Coach: Nic Bideau, Club: AFD) is the standout name in the men’s race, which will get underway at 8.15pm. His time of 27:42.62 is comfortably under the Rio qualifying mark and he will be hopeful of repeating his win at this event from 2014.  Vernon’s most likely challengers are Inter Counties Cross Country champion Dewi Griffiths (Coach: Kevin Evans, Club: Swansea), Jonny Hay (Coach: Woods, Club: AFD), Adam Hickey (Coach: Eamonn Martin, Club: Southend), Ross Millington (Coach: Steve Vernon, Club: Stockport) and Mitch Goose (Coach: Tim Ash; Norwich).

There will be a total of six 10,000m races, starting at 5pm and climaxing with the elite men’s and women’s races at 8.15pm and 9pm respectively, with an Inter London Borough School Relays race taking place at 3.30pm. This will be preceded by a legends coaching seminar, featuring 1984 London Marathon winner Charlie Spedding, 1982 Commonwealth 5000m silver medallist and British 10k road record holder Nick Rose, and Eamonn Martin - former British 10,000m record holder and the last British man to win the London Marathon in 1993.

Race entry Information


Events: Rio Olympic 10,000m Team GB trials, graded races + Schools Relay

Race Entry Fee: £15.00 non-refundable. Race organiser: Ben Pochee (Highgate Harriers) ben@lgnwellbeing.com

Places on the British Olympic team to be won

The men’s and women’s A races serve as both the England and British 10,000m championships. As well as the medals in the national championships this year there will be even more at stake. In Olympic year these races also serve as the official trials for Rio at 10,000m.

The first two athletes across the line in both of the men’s and women’s event will secure selection for the Rio Olympics at the distance subject to having secured a valid qualifying mark. For full selection criteria for the 2016 Rio Olympics please see www.britishathletics.org.uk/world-class/2016-selection-policies.

British Athletics Performance Director Neil Black said: “We’re delighted that the Highgate Harriers Night of the 10,000m PBs will act as the 10,000m trial race for the Olympic Games. This event has established itself as the best 10,000m race in the country and is the perfect place for British athletes to test themselves over the distance. It is also a great opportunity for the public to see world class athletes up close for free and be part of a unique atmosphere.”

Endurance Seminar

The event will include an endurance seminar including Charlie Spedding, Nick Rose and Eamonn Martin.

The three of them have unique insights that they can share with coaches and athletes.

Charlie was 1984 Olympic bronze medallist and London Marathon winner. His time of 2:08.33 stood as the English record for marathon until 2014 when it was beaten by Mo Farah by 12 seconds.

Eamonn Martin was the winner of 1990 Commonwealth 10,000m championships.

He broke Brendan  Foster’s British 10,000m record in 1988 and held the record for more than 10 years. In 1993 he won the London Marathon.

Nick Rose remains British record holder for 10K with 27:34 having set his mark on the roads at New Orleans in 1984. Nick won bronze at the 1980 World Cross Country Championships when he led the English team to the gold medals – the last time the team title went outside of Kenya and Ethiopia. He is also the former British record holder for half marathon with a time of 61:03 in 1985.

Opportunities for personal bests and fast times

A number of races for both men and women will be held giving strong opportunities for athletes to run personal best times. The races will be seeded and paced to ensure that they are all highly competitive.

Once again there will be music and spectators will be able to get up close to the action as after the gun goes the cordon is moved towards the inside lanes giving spectators a unique experience of being close to the competitors and creating a unique noise and buzz for the athletes. Spectators will be able to enjoy hot food and drinks and bar. With admission free to spectators all are welcome to attend and enjoy the action.

England Athletics Head of Coaching Martin Rush said, “The Night of the 10,000m PBs will once again be an invaluable opportunity for distance runners and their coaches. The goal of Olympic qualification will clearly be in the sights of some athletes but we are also delighted that there will be competition opportunities catering for many other athletes who are looking to improve and test themselves over 25 laps and opportunities for coaches to hear insights from the likes of Nick Rose, Eamonn Martin and Charlie Spedding.
“The atmosphere at this event is really unlike anything else in the sport so I would encourage as many people as possible to attend to watch the athletes in action and enjoy the whole experience.”