The Highgate Harriers have built the Night of 10,000m PBs into one of the most fun nights of the year. This writer ventured with New Balance’s Pete Riley, from Manchester to Hampstead, at speeds exceeding the speed of sound and light, (means in American bravado, very, very fast) to observe the meet two years ago. This past year, Adam, my son, his girlfriend Rachel, and myself ventured over to film and observe.
The event is glorious. Beer tents on both side of the track (with running running through), a rowdy crowd, and music, announcing, plus a fun distance running clinic with Seb Coe, Wendy Sly and one of those cricket stars you Brits love, taking questions and keeping the fans entertained.
The races were fun last year, as Beth Potter and Andy Vernon kept us on our feet in the final races of the night.
Congrats to European Athletics and Highgate Harriers for figuring this one out! A great idea and a great addition to the Night of 10,000m PBs!
The 2018 European 10,000m Cup will be held in conjunction with the popular “Night of the 10,000m PBs” in London on 19 May.
In an agreement between European Athletics and the organising club Highgate Harriers, the event will take place at the Parliament Hill track on London’s famous Hampstead Heath, the venue for the races since their inauguration in 2013.
It will be the first time that the European 10,000m Cup will have been held in Great Britain since it was created in 1997 although there have been several British winners including Paula Radcliffe in 1999 and 2001 and Mo Farah in 2010.
“It is a great pleasure to take the European 10,000m Cup to Britain at last,” said European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen.
“The Night of the 10,000m PBs has become a very popular event very quickly, which goes to show how well-organised it is and also that there is a need for top-quality races in Europe over 25 laps of the track.
“Integrating the Cup into the Night of 10,000m PBs will move both events to another level and heighten interest in both events. I think it is a win-win situation for both parties and shows European Athletics’ willingness to embrace new competitive concepts.
“I think it’s highly likely that the leading runners in London will be in contention for medals in the distance events at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships later next summer.
“Last year, the Night attracted a large number of running celebrities on and off the track, including the IAAF President Sebastian Coe and marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe.
“With the addition of the Cup, I’m sure next year will be a Night to remember as well,” added Hansen.
Cherry Alexander, British Athletics Major Event Director said: “We’re delighted that the 2018 European 10,000m Cup will be held as part of the Night of the 10,000m PBs in London next year.
“Ben Pochee and the team at Highgate Harriers have set the bar high for event presentation in recent years and it’s great that this is now being recognised internationally. Creating a great atmosphere for spectators always helps athletes to perform at their very best and we can be proud yet again that the UK is going to host an international championship.”
Race Director Ben Pochee said: “I’m over the moon that our 25 lap volunteer-powered initiative can now welcome the European Cup to our 2018 edition.”
“Night of the 10,000m PBs was conceived with the goal of helping improve 10,000m racing standards and showcasing the true excitement of our sport. Integrating the European Cup with our European Championship British Trials will offer competitors unprecedented racing quality and provide fans with free access to an international smackdown.”
“The atmosphere at Night of the 10,000m PBs is pivotal to aiding racing standards and crowd enjoyment. Therefore my aim was to attract more fans (7,500 in 2017) and create closer proximity to athletes in a bid to improve the ‘Goosebump Factor’.
“We therefore welcome fans to cheer from lane four of the track and we work with over 150 volunteer marshals to create a mobile safety barrier. In addition our ‘lactate tunnel of love’ sees athletes running through 60m of covered marquee with additional DJs and live bands playing their requested songs to inspire faster running.”
“Night of the 10,000m PBs is an athletics celebration hosted by the Highgate Harriers volunteer community & our key partners (London Marathon Events / British Athletics / Strava), and in this spirit of collective support we can’t wait to welcome our European athletic family members to the party!”
The regulations of the European 10,000m Cup will apply with qualifying standards defined by European Athletics for the overseas participants in the A races so that there will be a balance in these races between Cup participants and British national athletes seeking strong competition (the men’s and women’s A races will include a minimum of 15 British athletes in each race).
Spain’s Antonio Abadia won the men’s individual race at the 2017 European 10,000m Cup in June, leading the Spanish men to the team title, while Portugal’s Sara Moreira won the women’s race and Belarus took the women’s team gold medals.