Aim For Olympic 10,000m Selection Megan Keith And Patrick Dever

Aim for Olympic 10,000m selection Megan Keith and Patrick Dever

In-form Brits hope to earn their ticket to Paris at a Night of the 10,000m PBs which features 2023 men’s winner Paul Chelimo of the United States

The Night of the 10,000m PBs on Saturday (May 18) doubles up as the British Olympic trials this year but its reputation for fast times and a fantastic atmosphere has attracted athletes from all over the world.



Runners will descend on Parliament Hill in north London from as far afield as Argentina, Japan, Burundi, Uganda, Australia, Mexico, Djibouti and beyond – and that’s just the two ‘championship 10,000m races’ alone. This year’s event also sees a large number of American athletes in search of Olympic qualifying times, including 2023 men’s winner Paul Chelimo, although last year’s surprise women’s winner, Mizan Alem of Ethiopia, is not down to defend her crown.

The popular event is being staged for the 10th time this weekend with spectators able to watch for free or, for those unable to make it, live streaming via BBC, European Athletics and On Running.

Races start at 2.30pm building to a crescendo with young athletes’ 800m events in the early part of the evening and then the women’s championship 10,000m at 8.30pm and men’s championship 10,000m at 9.25pm, by which time you can expect a chill in the air although athletes will be hoping for as little wind as possible. What’s more, the newly-laid track, which enjoyed its official opening a few weeks ago, should help the athletes fulfil their potential.

The Olympic selection targets are 27:00.00 for men and 30:40.00 for women. For the Brits, Eilish McColgan and Megan Keith already have the qualifying time, although only the latter is due to run on Saturday with the GB team for Paris picked on July 1.

The Olympics aside, there is also the chance for European Championships qualification with the standards of 27:50.00 and 32:00.00 ahead of the event in Rome next month.

In the women’s race all eyes will be on Keith to see if she can improve on the 30:36.84 she ran at The Ten in California earlier this year. As the European under-23 cross-country and 5000m gold medallist already has the qualifying time for Paris, she will be aiming to at least finish one of the top two Brits home in order to secure automatic Olympic selection.

Eilish McColgan also has the qualifying mark with 30:00.86 from 14 months ago but she is not due to race on Saturday following a careful comeback from an injury-hit 2023.

Megan Keith and Jess Warner-Judd (Mark Shearman)

Jess Warner-Judd knows what it takes to run inside 30:40.00 as she clocked 30:25.93 in 2022. However, she doesn’t have the qualifying time during the Paris 2024 selection period. With road results being valid for qualification, she clocked just outside the standard with 30:41 in the Valencia 10km in January (although her chip time of 30:38 was inside the mark needed). So maybe Warner-Judd can end any doubts by nailing a sub-30:40 run on Saturday.

Abbie Donnelly was the top British woman at the World Cross Country Championships in Belgrade in 20th place in March at the end of a brilliant winter that also saw her make the Euro Cross podium. Now, she will hope to translate that kind of form on to the track this weekend.

Elsewhere the British challenge is bolstered by 2:25 marathon runner Clara Evans, European under-23 10,000m champion Alice Goodall, World Cross representative Lauren McNeil, plus Verity Ockenden, Jenny Nesbitt, Phily Bowden and Sophie Wallis.


Fiona O’Keeffe (Getty)

When it comes to the international entries, two athletes from the United States stand out. Fiona O’Keeffe won the US Olympic marathon trials in February and has a 10,000m best of 30:52.77 whereas Stephanie Bruce is a 2:27:47 marathon runner.

The event often turns up surprises, though, such as last year’s winner Alem, who was virtually unknown before clocking 29:59.03 as she lapped most of her rivals 12 months ago.

Only one British man in history, Mo Farah, has broken the Paris 2024 standard of 27:00.00. Yet a number of Brits will be gunning for the mark on Saturday.


Partick Dever (David Hicks)

They include Patrick Dever, who has enjoyed brilliant form this year including a big PB of 27:08.81 at The Ten in California in March along with a 13:04.05 indoor 5000m in Boston.

Dever was born in Britain and runs for Preston Harriers, but he has blossomed lately in the United States. Similarly, Charles Hicks has been an athlete on the rise, firstly at Stanford and more recently at the Bowerman Track Club in Oregon. Hicks will need to slice more than half a minute off his best of 27:33.58 to get in the team for Paris but the 2022 European under-23 cross-country champion will be pushing to do it.


Charles Hicks (David Hicks)

Rory Leonard, the European under-23 10,000m champion last year, is joined by fellow Hoka team members Scott Beattie, Ellis Cross and Ireland’s Efrem Gidey in the quest for PBs or international selection.

Look out for Zak Mahamed, too, who will no doubt be inspired by his older brother Mahamed Mahamed sealing Olympic selection in the marathon in London last month.

Elsewhere in the men’s A race, British entries include Paulos Surafel and Charlie Wheeler, with the latter’s brother, George, in the B race alongside Jake Smith, Scott Stirling, Julien Wanders of Switzerland and others.


Paul Chelimo (Getty)

Chelimo will be the man to beat, though. Last year he won convincingly in 27:12.73 and will be hoping to go even quicker to nail the Paris 2024 standard ahead of the US Olympic Trials. A global medallist in the 5000m in 2016, 2017 and 2021, he will be keen to make his mark this weekend after a humbling DNF at the US Olympic marathon trials in February.

Look out as well for another American, Sam Chelanga, plus Japanese runners Akira Aizawa and Jun Kasai, Carlos Mayo of Spain, Mohamed Ismael of Djibouti and Egide Ntakarutimana of Burundi.

Ben Pochee, the event director, says: “Highgate Harriers’ volunteer-powered event offers the unique opportunity to get up close and personal to the fastest runners on the planet. I’m very proud how our club and community have grown this initiative, from local event to international beacon destination in 10 short years.

READ MORE: 2023 Night of the 10,000m PBs coverage

“We are hugely grateful to the City Corporation for investing in Parliament Hill track long term, with their recent £2 million refurbishment – without which the 2024 event simply could not proceed.

“And we’re appreciative of our partnership with Swiss sports brand, On, who are our title sponsor as part of their global athletics event series, On Track Nights.”

Timetable and entries here.

Roll of honour
Year – Men / Women
2013 – Eddie McGinley 29:53.37 / Louise Perrio 36:11.55
2014 – Andy Vernon 28:26.59 / Jo Pavey 32:11.04
2015 – Jonny Mellor 28:46.80 / Rhona Auckland 32:28.32
2016 – Ross Millington 28:28.20 / Jess Martin (née Andrews) 31:58.00
2017 – Andy Vernon 28:21.15 / Beth Potter 32:04.63
2018 – Richard Ringer 27:36.52 / Lonah Salpeter 31:33.03
2019 – Yeman Crippa 27:49.79 / Steph Twell 31:08.13
2020-21 – no races due to the pandemic
2022 – Yeman Crippa 27:16.18 / Jess Warner-Judd 31:22.24
2023 – Paul Chelimo 27:12.73 / Mizan Alem 29:59.03


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