Night of the 10,000m PBs is a brilliant concept with amazing atmosphere, exciting racing at Club to Olympic level, and spectators watching the action right from the track. I was lucky enough to run and spectate this year (2017).
The event is the brainchild of Ben Pochee. In 2013, only nine men and one woman, Aly Dixon, turned up for the 10,000m at the British trials. The women’s race was therefore cancelled and Aly suggested she run with the men, having to compete whilst being lapped several times. Spectators were also severely lacking.
Ben’s aim was to inspire both athletes and spectators by providing a competitive event that runners and spectators would want to attend. It’s run by volunteers, free to attend and not-for-profit. In 2016 it provided the Olympic trials and looks set to continue as a major 10,000m GB trial.
Runners qualify to race. By bringing plenty of competition, plus pacers for the first parts of the races, the aim is to stretch competitive runners to new PBs.
Spectators get to stand at any point round the track in lane 3. You can cheer your athletes every 400m, and they come round pretty fast. You can grab food, plus beer and prosecco as part of the #Lane3BeerNCheer. Invigorating music plays in the beer tent complete with a DJ in running kit, and runners can pre-request motivational songs.
Those who couldn’t make it to Parliament Hill Fields track could watch all the events on live stream (and you can catch up on videos of all the events here )
The evening includes an endurance seminar, this year featuring Paula Radcliffe, Seb Coe, Wendy Sly and Ronnie O’Sullivan. You can catch up on the semimar recording here.
The winning times in the men’s races were E: 31:57, D: 32:53, C: 30:40, B: 29:54, A race GB trials won by Andy Vernon in 28:21 (despite high fiving spectators, Dewi Griffiths 2nd in 28:31, 3rd Samuel Barata 28:40.
The women had 2 races. I ran in the B race which was won in 35:17. The A race GB trials was won by Beth Potter in 32:04. Steph Twell was 2nd in 32:16, Katrina Wootton 3rd in 32:27 and Jo Pavey 4th in 32:42.
I was honoured to take part. It was an amazing occasion, professional yet fun. I didn’t get a PB, although a large number of runners did.
I found it fascinating how different it is running on a track compared to running an A to B race. The pace feels very different. I’m certainly inspired by the racing I watched, to improve.
Thank you to everyone who sent me messages, cheered me on through the live screening, or at the track itself. It was wonderful being cheered on round the track, and I’d definitely recommend going along if you can in 2018 (provisional date is Saturday 19 May 2018).