Meeting records fall at Parliament Hill as Jess Warner-Judd and Andy Butchart emerge as top Brits
The Night of the 10,000m PBs once again saw a dizzying display of distance running with meeting records in the two blue riband races. Roared on by thousands of spectators at Parliament Hill in north London on Saturday (May 20), Paul Chelimo of the United States stormed to an emphatic men’s victory in 27:12.73 while Mizan Alem Adane of Ethiopia destroyed a world-class field by more than a minute with 29:59.03.
Behind, Jess Warner-Judd and Andy Butchart won British titles in style. Warner-Judd successfully defended the crown she won at the same event 12 months ago whereas it was Butchart’s first outing at the event. “It definitely lived up to the expectations and more,” he enthused. “This is the way track needs to go. The guys here have absolutely smashed it. It’s a whirlwind.”
He added: “It’s not ‘track’. It’s like a different discipline. It’s not dull. It’s not boring. Everybody loves it here.”
The meeting was part of the On Track Nights series this year and the running shoe brand made the most of their sponsorship deal by sectioning off zones for athletes, media, VIPs and spectators. Amid the post-race pyrotechnics and beer-fuelled fans, ever-presents such as Dave Bedford, the former world 10,000m record-holder, rubbed shoulders with YouTubers from around the UK and as far afield as America and Japan. A pilgrimage to this event has become, it seems, an essential act for any fan worth their salt.
Age is no barrier either. From Chris Thompson’s and Jemma Simpson’s two-year-old son, Theo, through to the 94-year-old Eric Shirley, steeplechase finalist at the 1956 Olympics, spectators from multiple generations descended on the Hampstead Heath venue to see what all the hype is about.
“When you arrive, there’s an atmosphere,” added Butchart. “I don’t want to be ‘the grumpy old guy’ but track has lost that a bit elsewhere. But it’s definitely here – the hype is real and it’s incredible. I don’t think there’s another event in the world like this.”
Chelimo a class apart
Coming into this event there was talk of Paul Chelimo not being in good form. A global medallist in the 5000m in 2016, 2017 and 2021, though, he showed his class with a dominant run as he beat Yeman Crippa’s meeting record by four seconds.
“People count me out sometimes and I like that,” he said. “I went to the Olympics and they…
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