Vitality London 10,000 finish 2022

Changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace?

Ellis Cross takes the biggest win of his life as Eilish McColgan falls just shy of the British and European record

Thousands of runners turned out on Bank Holiday Monday 2 May to celebrate the Vitality London 10,000’s return to the capital after three years away. Perfect weather conditions and a flat, fast course helped to raise expectations for something spectacular, especially from Scot Eilish McColgan – fresh from a 14:45 British 5K record in Malaga eight days earlier – who had an eye on Paula Radcliffe's long-standing European and British 10K record of 30:21.  

But first, the men's race, where Sir Mo Farah was expected to fight for an unprecedented eighth victory, with Scotland's Andy Butchart his main opposition. In the event, Butchart was a late withdrawal and the relatively unheralded club athlete Ellis Cross (Aldershot) sprinted away from the 39-year-old four-time Olympic champion for a surprise victory in 28:40. 

Cross had paid £37 to enter as a non-elite invitee and made a handsome profit of £1,963 from his £2K windfall prize money. Speaking after the biggest win of his career, Cross said: “I’m lost for words – I did not expect this in a million years. Honestly, I know it’s a cliché, but I couldn’t believe it. I just felt very good from the get-go. To do so well in front of such a big crowd is crazy. But I think it helped – obviously everyone was supporting Sir Mo and nobody knew who I was!" 

Farah, who has been fighting serious foot and quad injuries since last June, finished second (28:44) and Mohamud Aadan (Thames Valley Harriers, 28:48) was third, despite fasting for Ramadan and looking forward to celebrating Eid with a top performance under his belt. 

Perhaps the most outstanding men's performance was by 41-year-old Aldershot athlete Chris Thompson, who broke Mike McLeod's 1992 British M40 record in fourth overall with 29:10.  

The women's race was dominated by Eilish McColgan (Dundee Hawkhill Harriers) who was on target throughout for yet another record-busting performance. However, she fell an agonising two seconds short in 30:23 – the second fastest Brit ever, erasing her mother Liz's Scottish 10K record of 30:39 set in Orlando in 1989.

“I'm gutted to have missed the British record by a couple of seconds,” McColgan said after the race. “I probably didn’t believe I could do it, so I went into the race thinking I’d be happy to run 31:40, but I’m in much better shape than I give myself credit for. To be honest, I only saw the clock when I turned the corner towards the finish line, and I thought ‘Oh my god, I could make it in time!’”

The runners-up were Jess Piasecki (Stockport Harriers, 31:28) and Samantha Harrison (Notts AC, 31:44) with solid runs as they prepare for championship marathons ahead.

There were 13,500 finishers who started in 10 waves, including a dedicated Run for Ukraine race with all the discounted £15 entry fees going to the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

Results can be studied via runABC race listing here     

Images courtesy Jedd Leicester for Vitality London 10,000

London 10,000 winners 2022

Previous & Next News