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Verity Ockenden Q&A on Night of the 10,000m PBs

Verity Ockenden Q&A on Night of the 10,000m PBs

European Indoor 3000m bronze medallist on how the event Parliament Hill inspires athletes and her goals for 2023

Verity Ockenden is back in Highgate tomorrow (May 20) for her fourth appearance on the track at Night of the 10,000m PBs.

The 31-year-old On athlete will part of a stacked women’s elite field in the championship race which kicks off at 8.40pm.

Just a few of her fellow Brits in that race include recent Olympic marathon qualifier Sam Harrison, reigning Night of the 10,000m PBs champion Jess Warner-Judd and fellow On teammate Amy-Eloise Markovc.

For Ockenden, who is 16th on the UK all-time 10,000m list with a PB of 31:43.70, it’s a meet that runs close to the heart and one she has raced in on three previous occasions.

Her best time at Highgate came two years ago when she finished 11th and clocked 32:43.47, which was the best mark of her career over the distance at that point.

She also placed 16th and 11th in 2017 and last year respectively.

Ockenden opens up her season at Parliament Hill after recovering from an injury she picked up towards the end of last year.

AW caught up with European Indoor 3000m bronze medallist ahead of this year’s edition of Night of the 10,000m PBs.

Verity Ockenden and Carmela Cardama Báez (James Rhodes)

What do you expect from yourself at Night of the 10,000m PBs?

For me it’s a massive unknown and that’s what I’m really excited about. I feel like things are going really well in training even after being injured in December. I don’t really know how it’s going to go as I’ve got a new coaching set-up to last year and that was different to the year before that.

It’s been about 18 months since being out in Italy now and I feel like I’ve finally settled in and I didn’t expect to get married to my best friend! He’s now coaching me with the help of his best friend. That definitely wasn’t the plan but it’s working.

Last year was definitely a bit rocky for me and I really want to go back to the form that I was in when I headed into the Tokyo Olympics. I think a lot of the changes I made moving to Italy, it took a long time to have the desired effect. Now I feel that’s really helpful.

How’s the mental challenge of overcoming injuries?

I think with injuries one of the worst things that can happen is when they get into a cycle. For example, last year with a tibial edema and then I had an Achilles problem, before getting a hamstring issue in the Autumn.

They are probably all connected in a sense…

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