Athletics News

Meet the Night of the 10,000m PBs hall of fame

Meet the Night of the 10,000m PBs hall of fame

For some winners at Highgate, victory has been their crowning moment. Yet at other times it acts as a springboard to even greater things

Since Eddie McGinley won the low-key first staging of the Night of the 10,000m PBs at Parliament Hill in north London in 2013, the event has gone from strength to strength and featured a ‘who’s who’ of champions.

Weather conditions have varied over the years but Steph Twell (31:08.13) and Yeman Crippa (27:16.18) own the fastest times in the annual event, which is organised by Highgate Harriers and part of the new On Track Nights series.

Many of the winners – and those hot on their heels – went on to make their mark in major championship 10,000m races, marathons and even triathlons. For others, victory at the Night of the 10,000m PBs proved their finest moment.

Here is our Highgate “hall of fame”…

Jo Pavey – 2014

The popular West Country athlete was already an established international and aged 40 when she clocked 32:11.04 ahead of European cross-country champion Sophie Duarte of France to win the women’s race at the 2014 Night of the 10,000m PBs. But this was Pavey’s first race since giving birth to her second child eight months earlier and her first track race since the 2012 Olympics.

Pavey later joked that her Exeter Harriers singlet was older than most of her rivals. And victory set her up for a superb summer, too, where the veteran runner won the European 10,000m title in Zurich and Commonwealth 5000m bronze in Glasgow.

Jo Pavey on her way to 2014 victory (Mark Shearman)

Andy Vernon – 2014

Like Jo Pavey, victory for Andy Vernon at Highgate in 2014 set him up for some of the best major championship running of his life a few months later. The Aldershot runner clocked 28:26.59 at the Night of the 10,000m PBs to beat Chris Thompson but later that summer he won European 10,000m silver behind Mo Farah and 5000m bronze as well in Zurich.


Andy Vernon and Jo Pavey (Mark Shearman)

Jonny Mellor – 2015

After finishing behind Andy Vernon and Chris Thompson in 2014, the Liverpool Harrier returned 12 months later to win in 28:46.80 ahead of Dewi Griffiths. Mellor would later run a marathon best of 2:10:03 in Seville in 2020 and, after a number of championship selection disappointments, he finished sixth in the Commonwealth Games marathon last year after earlier winning the English trial in style in Manchester in 2:10:46.

Jonny Mellor leads Chris Thompson (Mark Shearman)

Jess Andrews – 2016


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