21st May 2023
WARNER-JUDD AND BUTCHART SEAL UK TITLES AT 2023 NIGHT OF 10,000M PBS
Jessica Warner-Judd (coach: Mick Judd, coach: Blackburn Harriers) and Andrew Butchart (Central AC) were crowned UK 10,000m champions at the prestigious Night of 10,000m PBs fixture hosted by Highgate Harriers in London on Saturday (20 May) night.
With a number of races preceding the UK Athletics Championships races which closed the programme, it was another fantastic atmosphere at Parliament Fields with big crowds flocking to the track.
In the women’s championship race, Jessica Warner-Judd surged through on the last lap to take the UK title, and place fourth overall, with Ethiopia’s Mizan Alem Adane winning in a sub 30 minute time of 29:59.03.
The Blackburn Harrier left it late to come through past Samantha Harrison (Vince Wilson, Charnwood) but on sealing a top two finish, and already holding a World Championship qualifying standard from 2022, she qualified for the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest in style.
The scintillating pace of Adane at the front of the race would have a significant bearing on the pattern of the race for the rest of the field, with some athletes choosing to stick with the pace set by Adane in the early stages, and others who started more conservatively and come through stronger in the later part of the contest.
The reigning champion from Highgate last year, Warner-Judd, was patient in the early stages as she bided her time, sticking to Harrison for most of the 25 laps.
With compatriot Amy-Eloise Markovc (Rob Denmark, Wakefield) staying with the pace set at the head of the field over the opening few laps as she chased a qualifying standard for the worlds, a gap opened up between the leading Brits, but this would reduce by the halfway point, and had been overhauled as they entered the final quarter of the race.
Harrison, who set a marathon PB of 2:25.59 in London recently, and would go on to lower her 10,000m best here, held the lead on Warner-Judd until the final lap when the world finalist showed all her experience to come through in a time of 31:09.28, the second fastest time in her career.
Harrison clocked 31:11.40 while Markovc’s early bold effort also resulted in her achieving a PB mark of 31:17.81, but both were outside the world qualifying standard of 30:40. Abbie Donnelly (Rob Lewis) was the next British finisher across the line in 12th overall, the time 32:10.16 which was a lifetime best for the Lincoln Wellington athlete.
In the men’s Championship race, Andrew Butchart came through to take the UK title, with Zakariya Mahamed (Idris Hamud, Southampton) and Ellis Cross taking the silver and bronze medals.
Butchart went off hard in the early stages and reaped the rewards of that push to comfortably cross the line as the first Briton in a time of 27:47.43, in 10th place overall.
Mahamed continued to show his impressive development in the sport as he clocked a PB of 27:56.70 to take the second British spot and 13th overall, with Ellis Cross (Mick Woods, Aldershot Farnham and District) just pipping Jack Gray (Mark Vile, Cambridge & Coleridge) to third spot, both achieving personal bests of 28:27.01 and 28:27.60 respectively.
Two-time Olympic medallist Paul Chelimo (USA) won the race by a near 20 second margin with a time of 27:12.73.