Preview: Highgate Harriers Night Of The 10k PBs

Everything you ever wanted to know about the Highgate Harriers Night Of The 10k PBs and a preview of the Serpentine men racing on the night (sadly, no Serpette line-up this year), brought to you by David Chalfen.

Picture from Preview: Highgate Harriers Night Of The 10k PBs

How to make this not just a London Marathon preview with the same names running a quarter of the distance? So, did you know that Dave Bedford, the last UK man to hold the 10,000 World Record lives barely 3k away in Hampstead Garden Suburb? Or that event innovator Ben Pochee went to school barely 300 metres away? And that as folkrock legend Richard Thompson and lead Strangler Hugh Cornwell are also alumni Ben will never be higher than third coolest old boy? Or that as a volunteer Ben, with the amazing development he has steered in this event, has achieved a specific that a paid UKA role never achieved, with the men’s UK 10,000m once having just 4 finishers (with former Serpie Huw Lobb the only non-medallist), and Ally Dixon once being the entire women’s field, a large burden for such a small woman? What, you knew all that?! Hi Paula.

This year’s Serpie contingent are mostly ‘fresh’ from the marathon just four weeks ago so their specific prep has included a week of very little running (VLM taper); then 26 miles at full effort albeit notably slower than 10k pace (Andy Greenleaf apart, who only has one pace which is why he has loads of cast-iron excuses for absence from the club 1k champs and only ever runs for a bus if it’s at least 5k away). Then a week of nothing because they were battered from aforementioned VLM. So maybe not a day for many step-changes in PBs. That said, two non-April marathoners both up for the race will be Jonathan Poole quietly returning towards his best form and Chris Wright fresh from a notable 5000 PB. Expect a clutch of times in the 30 to 32 minute range from several of Serpies’ finest also including Tony Payne, Chris Oddy and Xavier Gruot.

Club affiliation aside, the Highgate Harriers Night Of The 10k PBs is in my view maybe the highlight of the distance running year in the UK and it’s a great privilege to have it so locally. This year we have the extra oomph that it includes the Euro Challenge for men and women so the A races will be stacked with literally the best that Europe has to offer. And at a time when much of the nation seems less than fully Euro-affiliated where better than Belsize Park to have a pan-continental gathering?

David Chalfen

(Lots of Serpies will be spectating on the night. Do join in the #Lane3BeerNCheer:

Submitted: 13 May 2018