European medallists enjoy clear victories in the British capital
Jo Pavey regained the British 10km road race title she claimed in 2011 at the Bupa London 10,000 on Monday despite suffering sickness through the night, while Andy Vernon was another clear winner to retain the men’s title.
Pavey headlined the women’s field but having been unwell through most of the night before and not been able to fuel and hydrate herself as normal she later explained how she really hadn’t known what to expect.
Having started off cautiously on a course which was new for this year, the European 10,000m champion responded when Scotland’s Commonwealth Games fifth-placer Beth Potter put in an early surge and when passing the half-way point in 16:31 she only had eventual runner-up Rebecca Murray for company.
Feeling like the opening stages hadn’t taken too much out of her, Pavey pushed on in the second half and broke away from Murray at about 6.5km to record a 16:26 final 5km and cross the line in 32:56 for a clear win.
English National cross-country junior winner Murray, contesting her first 10km since 2012, held on for the runner-up spot in 33:19 as Havering’s Faye Fullerton clocked 33:27 for third two weeks after her 14th-place finish at the Morrisons Great Manchester 10km. Lauren Deadman and Lauren Howarth secured top-five spots with respective times of 33:35 and 33:37.
“It was such an unknown because all night I was throwing up and I hadn’t had any sleep,” explained Pavey. “I couldn’t keep any water down. It just really took me by surprise because I was fine all day yesterday. It felt really surreal because I didn’t think I was ill.
“I didn’t really know what to do. I didn’t know if I’d be alright or not be able to break 40 minutes.
“I did go off more cautiously,” she added. “In a way I felt disappointed that I didn’t have the confidence to go off harder at the start but I’m really pleased with the race. I really enjoyed it out there. The atmosphere is amazing.”
Vernon continued his fine current form to prove a dominant figure in the men’s race. Always to the fore, the European 5000m and 10,000m medallist had strung out the field by the half-way point and was level with Jonny Mellor, clocking 14:30 for 5km.
Vernon was another to surge ahead at 6.5km and left Highgate 10,000m winner Mellor in his wake to cross the line in a 28:38 PB – the quickest time by a Briton since 2011.
Mellor faded towards the end but held on to clock 29:13 to finish just one second ahead of Luke Caldwell who was making his 10km road debut.
Four seconds behind them was Andy Butchart and Scott Overall with an identical time.
“I felt really good today,” said Vernon. “The opening 2-3km was quite comfortable so that kind of makes the race a bit easier that you’re not going straight into a fast pace.
“I haven’t raced for three weeks or something so I felt fairly fresh and ready to try and put a bit of a show on for the crowd.”
1 Andy Vernon 28:38
2 Jonny Mellor 29:13
3 Luke Caldwell 29:14
4 Andrew Butchart 29:18
5 Scott Overall 29:18
6 Dewi Griffiths 29:25
7 John Beattie 29:28
8 Andrew Heyes 29:30
9 Ben Lindsay 29:38
10 Ian Kimpton 29:47
1 Jo Pavey 32:56
2 Rebecca Murray 33:19
3 Faye Fullerton 33:27
4 Lauren Deadman 33:35
5 Lauren Howarth 33:37
6 Rachel Felton 33:42
7 Elle Vernon 34:14
8 Beth Potter 34:15
9 Louise Small 34:17
10 Natasha Doel 34:49
» See the next AW magazine, out May 28, for a much more in-depth report together with pictures and results from the Bupa London 10,000