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The Mayaro man is back for good
Twenty five laps. Few people are willing to run that distance on a track, and historically, even fewer can bring themselves to sit through the (dubious) spectacle.
In London, thanks to The Night of the 10,000m PBs, that is changing. Since it inauguration in 2013 — less than a year after Mo Farah became Olympic Champion in the city — this festival of distance running has gone from strength to strength. With no admission fee for spectators, live music, good coffee and beer, the organizer Ben Pochee has attracted crowds rarely seen in the current era. Roaring the athletes home from lane four, this, you felt, was how track and field could be.
Each year the fields at The Night of the 10,000m PBs have got bigger and more competitive, with this year’s event doubling as the British Olympic Trials ensuring a stacked lineup across the board. The elite races, and particularly the women’s race, promised superb entertainment, with a selection of overseas athletes in attendance in search of fast times.
As the races began, all eyes were on European Champ Jo Pavey and European silver medallist Andy Vernon as each sought to gain automatic selection for Rio. In the end, neither succeeded, but that just made the racing more exciting.
Watch the short video below for interviews with the winners on the night.
The standout performance of the event was Jess Andrews in the women’s race who ran an 83 second PR to take the win and finish well inside the Olympic qualifying time. The time itself was remarkable only for the size of the improvement; what really impressed was the way she ran, allowing Linet Masai to lead through much of the race before reeling her in during the closing laps. We look forward to seeing her race again in future.