VIA BUPA London 10,000m
Jo Pavey will take on Paula Radcliffe at the Bupa London 10,000 on bank holiday Monday (30 May), while Mo Farah faces a formidable challenge from fellow British internationals as he defends the men’s title at this annual road race held on the route of the London 2012 Olympic marathons.
Fresh from her promising marathon debut in London last month, the 37-year-old Pavey will challenge the world record holder in a race that incorporates the first UK national 10km road championships. Pavey finished 19th at the Virgin London Marathon on 17 April in two hours 28 minutes 24 seconds.
Although her 10km best is nearly a minute and a half slower than Radcliffe’s world record, the Exeter athlete is keen to give her illustrious compatriot a run for her money.
“I am looking forward to racing in London over the Olympic marathon route,” said Pavey. “Of course, Paula will be favourite but I have recovered well from the London Marathon and hopefully I can be competitive. It’s great to see Paula back up and running again – hopefully she will inspire us all to some fast times.”
Radcliffe, who’s returning to action after 18 months out of the sport, set the world 10km record in San Juan in February 2003, just two months before she smashed the world marathon record in London, clocking 2:15:25. This will be her first competitive outing since giving birth to her second child, Raphael, in September last year as she looks towards an autumn marathon and the Olympic qualifying time of 2:31:00.
While Pavey will be Radcliffe’s main threat, the 37-year-old mother of two faces a further 10 British athletes who have run 10km in under 33:30, including international cross country runners Julia Bleasdale and Gemma Steel, and marathon internationals Susan Partridge and Alyson Dixon. Partridge ran a PB at this year’s Virgin London Marathon while Dixon won the Brighton Marathon on 10 April.
Farah set a national and course record of 27:44 in the men’s race last year when he defeated Kenya’s world record holder Micah Kogo. This time he faces a group of talented British internationals in a field containing 11 men who have broken 29:30.
Among them are Dan Robinson, the 2006 Commonwealth Games marathon bronze medallist, Andrew Lemoncello, who was eighth in the 2010 London Marathon, Phil Wicks, who was fourth in this race two years ago, and Scott Overall, who was seventh in the recent Great Manchester Run.
Farah is making his first appearance on home soil since February when he broke the European 5000m record in Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena. Since then, the country’s number one men’s distance runner has retained his European indoor 3000m title in Paris and won the New York City Half Marathon in another British record.
All the big names will be going for individual honours in what is the third event in the runbritain Grand Prix road race series, while some 450 athletes will compete for club teams in the UK 10km championships where the first three finishers’ times will count towards the team prize.
Behind them will be up to 10,500 fun runners, celebrities and charity fund raisers looking for lifetime bests and personal satisfaction.
Leading runners and their best times:
Mo Farah Newham and Essex Beagles 27:44
Andrew Lemoncello Fife 28:47
Matt O’Dowd Notts AC 28:48
Scott Overall Blackheath & Bromley AC 28:49
Marius Ionescu Altrincham 28:54
Phil Wicks Belgrave Harriers 28:54
Gavin Thompson Altrincham 29:02
Phil Nicholls Tipton Harriers 29:07
Ian Hudspith Morpeth Harriers 29:08
Dan Robinson Stroud AC 29:12
Russell Dessaix-Chin Belgrave Harrier 29:22
Michael Skinner Blackheath & Bromley AC 30:16
Paula Radcliffe Bedford & County AC 30:21
Jo Pavey Exeter 31:47
Gemma Steel Charnwood 32:51
Julia Bleasdale Hillingdon 33:00
Lucy Elliott Winchester 33:02
Justina Heslop Clapham Chasers 33:11
Hannah Whitmore Charnwood 33:11
Susan Partridge Leeds City 33:19
Alyson Dixon Chester le Street AC 33:26
Juliet Doyle Charnwood 33:27
Caroline Hoyte Arena 80 33:27
Beverley Jenkins Salford Harriers & AC 33:28
The Bupa London 10,000 starts and finishes in St. James’s Park and uses Green Park as its assembly area. Runners set off at 11.00am from Birdcage Walk and follow an anti-clockwise route around the City of Westminster and the City of London via Parliament Square, Embankment, Blackfriars Bridge, Queen Victoria Street, Cannon Street, Great Tower Street, Crutched Friars, Fenchurch Street, Leadenhall Market, Cornhill, Queen Victoria Street, Puddle Dock, Embankment, Horseguards Avenue, Whitehall and via Trafalgar Square to the finish in The Mall.
Runners pass many of London’s famous sights, including Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, The London Eye, Cleopatra’s Needle, Tate Gallery, Millennium Bridge, The Monument, Lloyds of London, Leadenhall Market, Bank of England, Mansion House, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Horseguards, Nelson's Column and Admiralty Arch. Buckingham Palace acts as the backdrop to the start and finish.