Weekend action in London sees Mo Farah target his fifth London 10,000 title on Monday, while Sunday will witness a celebration of one mile running at the Bupa Westminster Mile
After sitting out the Westminster Mile races the previous day, Mo Farah will go for his fifth consecutive victory in the Bupa London 10,000 on Monday.
The double Olympic champion has been an ever-present at this 10km central London road event since it started in 2008. After finishing third in the inaugural race, he has dominated ever since, winning four in a row and his time three years ago of 27:44 remains the men’s course record.
Last year he cruised home in a modest 29:21 as he geared up for summer and this year’s race will give him a chance to assess his form ahead of his next track race at the Prefontaine Classic a few days later.
Farah’s main threat in London will come from former training partner Scott Overall, who was runner-up behind Farah last year in 29:26 just a couple of months before he ran the Olympic marathon.
Amy Whitehead leads the women’s field on her London 10,000 debut – the 34-year-old Sale Harrier was 13th in the 2013 Virgin London Marathon last month, the second Briton home behind Susan Partridge. Here she faces Steph Twell, who is also due to race the previous day’s Westminster Mile, plus Katrina Wootton and Claire Hallissey.
Alongside the elites will be teams of up to six runners from UK clubs competing for places in the UK 10km championship, with the cumulative times of the first three finishers counting towards the team prize. Behind them will be 10,000 fun runners, celebrities and charity fund raisers looking for PBs on the roads where the world’s best marathon runners raced for Olympic glory just 10 months ago.
Mile magic hits London in form of the Bupa Westminster Mile
From elite runners like Lisa Dobriskey, Andy Baddeley and Hannah England, through to top teenagers like Matt Shirling, down to 10-minute and even 15-minute mile joggers, Sunday will see a celebration of one mile running in central London.
The Bupa Westminster Mile sees a day-long series of races starting on The Mall and finishing outside Buckingham Palace. Mo Farah will be there as a figurehead to launch the event, while in addition to those already mentioned, the races will also feature Paralympians David Weir and Richard Whitehead.
Back in the mid-1980s a Westminster Mile sponsored by Peugeot Talbot saw victories from runners such as Steve Ovett, Peter Elliott and Kirsty Wade. Now, the idea has been resurrected by the London Marathon but it has been opened to the masses with children’s races from under-20 to under-13 age groups, plus categories for slower, fun runners and families.
The senior and age-group races down to under-15 will be official British championship events. The prize money is also decent with £400 for senior/U20/U17 winners, with second, third and fourth places getting £200, £100 and £50 respectively, while U15/13 winners receive £200, plus £100, £50 and £25 for second, third and fourth.
Baddeley, a former winner of Oslo’s Dream Mile, faces Ross Murray, James Brewer, Chris Warburton, Charlie Grice, James Shane and David Bishop in a strong men’s field. Dobriskey and England are joined in the women’s line-up by Steph Twell, Emma Jackson and Charlene Thomas.
Teenagers in action include UK under-17 1500m record-holder Shirling, plus George Duggan, Sean Molloy, Scott Halstead, while the girls’ races include in-form 12-year-old Katy-Ann McDonald through to 2012 National Cross champion Becky Straw in the under-20 women’s race.
» Races begin at 10am with the elite senior races at 2.35pm (men) and 2.45pm (women)
» For further previews of this weekend’s action including the New York Diamond League, Götzis Hypomeeting, BT Great CityGames Manchester, Bupa Great Manchester Run and the Bedford International Games see the May 23 issue of AW, which is available here