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Athletics stars gather to compete in Highgate Harriers’ ‘Night of the 10,000m PBs’

PUBLISHED: 16:00 07 May 2014 | UPDATED: 16:00 07 May 2014

Jo Pavey

Jo Pavey

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Four-time British Olympian Jo Pavey will lead a star-studded line-up at Highgate Harriers’ ‘Night of the 10,000m PBs’ on Saturday.

The Harriers’ second annual event will be taking place at Parliament Hill as top runners attempt to beat their personal best time over the distance.

Such was the success of the inaugural Night of the PBs last year that the national governing body, British Athletics, have incorporated their prestigious British Championships into the 2014 event.

That means elite athletes hoping to represent Great Britain at the European Championships and its Under-23 equivalent will travel to Parliament Hill on Saturday to compete for a place within Team GB.

Last year there were three races and the largest number of club level participants of any 10,000m track event in the UK in the past 10 years. The event also lived up to its name with nearly 80 per cent of competitors achieving a PB.

Highgate will now host an unprecedented five 10,000m track races this weekend, including two elite men’s and women’s races – aiming to finish in less than 28 minutes 30 seconds and 32 minutes respectively – which will be the British Championship and European Championship trials.

Pavey will be joined in the women’s section by the reigning European cross-country champion, France’s Sophie Duarte, plus two-time European champion Fionnuala Britton of Ireland and Poland international Iwona Lewandowska.

In the men’s elite, European cross-country bronze medallist Andy Vernon will line up against two-time Olympian Andrew Lemoncello, GB international Jonny Mellor and the current England road 10k champion Matty Hynes.

Youth relays will be taking place at 4pm, with the senior races starting at approximately 6pm and the fifth and final race due to commence at around 9pm.

The event is free to watch and includes a live band, a 13 square-metre jumbo screen, a local school percussion band and refreshments including food, coffee and alcohol.

Race organiser Ben Pochee said: “At Highgate Harriers, we welcome the incorporation of the British 10,000m Championships into our annual event.

“This year we aim to turn up the volume around the 25 laps and provide inspiration for racing PB hunters, supporters and young athletes alike.

“We are hoping to have 200 to 400 spectators on the night, and already have support from several local parkrun organisers to encourage all their runners – mainly beginners - to experience the action.”

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