A look ahead to Saturday’s action, with Jonny Mellor, Adam Hickey, Charlotte Purdue and Rhona Auckland among those set to compete
The Highgate Harriers Night of the 10,000m PBs returns for a third year on Saturday (May 16) as the setting for several top athletes to seek championships qualifying times.
With last year’s men’s winner, Andy Vernon, having already secured the qualifying times for this year’s World Championships (27:45) and the Rio Olympics (28:00), no men are targeting similar times here. However, Jonny Mellor (pictured) is hoping to cement his return to form with a mid-28-minute performance that will improve on his PB of 28:42.
He may be helped along by Belgium’s 28:35 man Mats Lunders, while Wales’ Commonwealth Games representative Dewi Griffiths is looking to cut time off his personal best of 28:48.
Jonathan Davies, the National cross-country under-20 champion and winner of the recent high-class Trafford 10km in 29:18, wants a time of around 28:50, while Ben Tickner, who clocked 29:25 in the Brighton 10km last month, is targeting five seconds quicker.
Adam Hickey, who enjoyed an excellent cross-country season, wants to go sub-29, while Ben Lindsay is looking to build on his recent 29:19 road breakthrough.
The women’s field features a few going after the qualifying standards, which are 32:15 for Rio and 32:00 for Beijing. Charlotte Purdue, who clocked 32:03 in 2012 and more recently 16:30 for 5km on the roads, put down 31:55 as her target. Elinor Kirk ran 32:17 last year and wants to take 17 seconds off that time, while Alyson Dixon is chasing the same sort of clocking.
Rhona Auckland, the European under-23 cross-country champion, will be hoping to translate her form from that discipline and improve on her PB of 33:09, while last year’s third-placer Beth Potter is hoping to beat the 32:33 with which she finished fifth in the Commonwealth Games.
It is not just about the elites, though, as six graded races will feature athletes down to 38-minute level.
Spectators will get in for free and will be encouraged to line up in lane three to cheer on the athletes. Although the event is a national championships, there will be no official trial in the 10,000m for this year’s IAAF World Championships.
An inter-schools relay starts at 4pm with the first 10km an hour later and the last race at 9pm.