A look ahead to the New Balance English Schools Cross Country Championships in Leeds
Runners ready to lap it up at Highgate Harriers Night of the 10,000m PBsMay 18, 2017
A look ahead to the event at Parliament Hill which incorporates the GB trials for the IAAF World Championships
A total of eight Olympians are set to be among those taking to the Parliament Hill track on Saturday (May 20) as Highgate Harriers Night of the 10,000m PBs action returns.
The event, which is free to spectate and combines top-quality racing with a unique crowd experience, will again incorporate the British 10,000m Championships, with the Parliament Hill track also playing host to those looking to make the GB team for the IAAF World Championships in London this summer.
The top two eligible athletes in each World Championships trial race will automatically be selected for the GB team for the event in London this summer, provided they also achieve the qualifying standard of 27:45 for men or 32:15 for women by midnight on July 9.
Ross Millington returns to defend his title and looks to be the man to beat. The Stockport Harrier joins fellow Rio Olympian Andy Vernon in the men’s line-up on Saturday, plus Welshman Dewi Griffiths.
Griffiths, who was fifth in the 2016 Europeans, ran 28:16.07 recently, while Luke Caldwell, who has a 28:29.61 PB, was 14th in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Ben Connor ran 29:21.47 for fifth last year but the National cross country champion has greatly improved this winter.
Others who could place highly are the National junior cross country and BUCS 5000m champion Ellis Cross, Scottish 10,000m champion Kristian Jones and Inter-Counties and National cross-country runner-up Alex Teuten.
Jo Pavey leads the women’s entries after dropping out of last month’s Virgin Money London Marathon and deciding to try to qualify for London 2017 on the track instead.
The five-time Olympian will face the 2016 winner and reigning British champion Jessica Martin along with runner-turned-triathlete Beth Potter, marathoner Sonia Samuels, Olympic 5000m runner Steph Twell and Portugal’s Jessica Augusto.
Others in action are set to be Kate Avery, the double European cross-country runner-up who has a 31:45.44 PB but has only raced once since last June.
Katrina Wootton has been the leading Briton in her last two 10km races at Brighton and Birmingham and can boast a 31:46 road PB, while Elinor Kirk, who was ninth in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, has one of the fastest PBs in the field with 32:17.05.
Louise Small, who was first Brit at the World Cross in 39th place, has a 33:50.63 PB and ran 34:01.90 last year, while Jenny Nesbitt ran 33:45.19 last year and a 74:26 clocking in the Reading Half Marathon suggests she is in good form.
This year’s event will also feature an endurance seminar in among the series of 10,000m races, with IAAF president Seb Coe, Olympic medallist Wendy Sly and world marathon record-holder Paula Radcliffe among the speakers, and snooker legend Ronnie O’Sullivan, who is a keen runner, acting as host.
Tune into AW‘s Facebook page from 18:30 on Saturday to watch a live stream of the seminar.
The event gets under way with an inter-schools relay at 13:30 before race one at 15:15 through to the men’s GB trial race at 20:15 and the women’s at 21:00.
» See the May 18 edition of AW magazine for an in-depth look ahead to Saturday’s Highgate Harriers Night of the 10,000m PBs action and the latest news