Twell excels at 10,000m PB-fest
Steph Twell (Aldershot, Farnham & District) made a tremendous breakthrough to win the Night of the 10,000m PBs on a frenzied Saturday night (6 July) but did not take the incorporated European 10,000m Cup as she was not entered for that competition.
This was the seventh edition of Highgate Harriers' ground breaking promotion at Parliament Hill Stadium and the event goes from strength to strength, constantly evolving and innovating. The latest upgrade in presentation was the introduction of the electronic equivalent to the mechanical hare that greyhounds frantically chase round a dog race circuit.
Competitors in the two elite races were accompanied by 'WaveLight' technology, a flashing green light set at the pace required for World Championship qualifying times, as well as the usual human pacemakers who did an excellent job.
The women's elite race was the penultimate event in a programme that featured nine 10,000m races, culminating in the European Cup and British Championships. Twell watched defending champion Lonah Salpeter (Israel, 31:15.78) build a big lead before whittling the advantage steadily in the second half, winning in a superb PB 31:08.13 (the sixth fastest UK all time).
Eilish McColgan was third overall (31:16.76 PB) to go seventh fastest all time and gain individual silver in the European Cup – adding team gold medals with brilliant support from Alice Wright (32:27.57), Verity Ockenden (32:34.47 PB), Charlotte Arter (32:40.60), Sarah Inglis (32:52.51) and Mhaira MacLennan (32:58.42 PB).
The heavens opened for the men's race but that simply added to the atmosphere as the crowd took full advantage of the #Lane3BeerNCheer opportunity. Last year's bronze medal winner Yeman Crippa (Italy, 27:49.79) timed his finish to perfection to claim European gold from Amanal Petros (Germany, 27:52.25) and Ben Connor (Derby, 27:57.60 PB) – improving 26 places on the UK rankings in one fell swoop to 30th best all time.
Connor added European team silver with back up from Nick Goolab (28:10.49), Matt Leach (28:47.24), Jack Gray (28:49.53 PB), Adam Hickey (29:13.54) and Andrew Heyes (29:32.90).
With two individual and two team medals it was a superb night for British endurance running. Steph Twell is aiming for Berlin Marathon rather than the Doha World Championships this year and said: “I can’t believe how easy I felt and I’m delighted. The crowd were amazing. I’ve never heard a roar like that and it really lifted me.”
Results via runABC race listing here
Image courtesy British Athletics media