Athletics: Highgate Harriers host another successful ‘Night of the 10k PBs’

The outdoor athletics season is now well underway (pic: Tony Benton)

The outdoor athletics season is now well underway (pic: Tony Benton) - Credit: Archant

A round-up of the latest news from the Highgate Harriers

The great and the good of 10k running descended on Highgate Harriers’ Parliament Hill track on Saturday for the fifth annual ‘Night of the 10k PBs’.

This year’s event doubled as the British trials, with athletes looking to run times to qualify for this summer’s IAAF World Championships in London.

Despite strong winds, there was no denying the atmosphere at Parliament Hill, with credit going to event organiser Ben Pochee.

In one of the earlier races, Highate Harrier’ Fergal Smithwick came through the field for second place, slashing his personal best time to 31 minutes and 57 seconds.

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In the ‘A’ race, Aldershot’s Andy Vernon (28.21) beat Dewi Griffiths of Swansea (28:31) to take top honours.

However, neither time was fast enough for the duo to book their place in London later this summer.

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In the women’s equivalent, Beth Potter of Shaftesbury Barnet qualified for the World Championships after winning her race in 32.04.

Aldershot’s Steph Twell came second, but missed out on the qualifying time of 32.15 by a second on her track debut, while Katrina Wooton of Coventry was third in a PB of 32.27.

The last British athlete to set a 10k world record, Dave Bedford, was among those present trackside, along with Paula Radcliffe and Sebastian Coe.

And Bedford was hugely positive about the event, saying: “I think the concept is improving year by year.

“It’s a great event, look at the number of people that were there. It shows there is still a massive interest in distance running.

“I think it is a wonderful event and we (the London Marathon) should continue to support in financially.

“Highgate Harriers is a real home for it and used to be a cinder track, but now it is a classy track. It is the perfect place for it.”

• Highgate’s premier middle-distance, Andy Maud, finished the 5,000m race at the British Milers Grand Prix in Solihull in 14.46.

• Helena Nwakor and Tyreece Rankin, meanwhile, both set club age grade records in the javelin (25.54m) and 100m (11.19s) respectively at the Middlesex Championships.

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