Is 10,000m The New 10K?
Barely has the smoke cleared from the fireworks after last month's brilliant Night of the 10,000m PBs at Highgate before we have the announcement of another festival of 25-lap running, this time at Ladywell Arena in South London. So is 10,000m on the track the new 10K...?
Highgate Harriers can justifiably claim to have revolutionised endurance running in Britain with their fantastically successful afternoon and evening of thrilling 10,000m track races – an event at which Britain once reigned supreme. Dave Bedford set the world record (27:30.8) in London in 1973 but the event has moved on and Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele has been the world's fastest since 2005 with 26:17.53. The UK record holders are the peerless Sir Mo Farah (26:46.57) and Paula Radcliffe (30:01.09).
Due to the recent renaissance in domestic endurance running there is now an appetite for more 10,000m races as a new generation of distance runners are being inspired to think differently about track races as part of their summer programme. Ladywell 10000 returns to the British track racing calendar on Sunday 2 September for an afternoon and evening of seven 10,000m track races in the leafy tranquility of Ladywell Arena, home of Kent AC. This is an event for the whole family with music, pacemakers, cake stall, hot food stall and licensed bar selling South London's finest beers from the unique Ignition Brewery.
The inaugural event last year not only saw Katrina Wotton (Coventry Godiva) run the UK lead time with a remarkable 31:45 but also delivered more than 100 personal bests amongst the 130-plus competitors!
Kent AC's Event Director, Adrian Lowther, said: “Our first event in 2017 was a roaring success with PBs across the board, a sub-30 men’s winning time by the ever popular Paul Marteletti and the UK lead women’s time by Katrina Wootton in what was an inspiring performance to watch. We aim to better that this year with more athletes running PBs in every one of the seven races and I am certain we can see more men break 30 minutes. I urge everyone to get their entries in or mark the date in their diaries to come down and enjoy the atmosphere, the food, a pint from our local partners at Ignition Brewery and of course some fantastic racing.”
In addition to the 10,000m races there will be mile races for boys and girls. These invitation events will give the best young athletes from the South the chance to compete in this rarely run distance. Ladywell 10000 is set to be a showcase for grass roots endurance running for a modest £10 entry fee – click here to visit the event website (entries open today).
Image courtesy Adrian Lowther/Kent AC