Is The Night Of The 10,000m PB’s The Future Of Track & Field? - The Running Channel Advertisement

Is The Night Of The 10,000m PB’s The Future Of Track & Field?

BY: Mark Dredge
24 May 2024

With finish line fireballs, a scream tunnel closing into lane three on the back straight, and proven world-class times, The Night Of The 10,000m PB’s has become one of the highlights of the running season, and it’s transforming track and field.

Hosted by Highgate Harriers at the Parliament Hill athletics track in North London, the Night Of The 10,000m PB’s is the ultimate celebration of 25 lap racing, combining elite level running with the atmosphere of a music festival, with live DJs, food trucks and fireworks. 

Established in 2013 with the aim of improving British racing standards, it’s achieved that and much more. Every race has top British club runners pushing for new PBs, while the pros run in the championship races looking to secure their place on the start line at international tournaments. Together it’s adding to the great legacy of British distance running, while also encouraging some of the world’s top runners to head to London to race hard. 

And with the top runners on the track, and brilliant entertainment off track, thousands of supporters, who can enter for free, stand trackside to cheer the races, while those who can’t make it in real life can follow the livestream and commentary on YouTube, with the championship races shown on the BBC Sports. 

Together this is putting 10,000m running in front of more people, showing it as a high-energy and dramatic sport. This year’s races had it all: high stakes (Olympic qualification and a chance to run a European Championship qualifying time), British runners competing for first place, sprint finishes, and lots of fireworks. 

In 2024 there were nine 10K races, plus eight 800m races for U13, U15, U17 and U20. Seeded by time, you have to be very good to even qualify for the first race of the day, and this year 18 men ran sub-32 minutes in that race. That speed keeps the cadence of the night quick, as new races begin regularly, with trackside entertainment put on between each heat.

The headline heats are the two championship races. In 2024 they were the UK Athletics Championships, meaning the top Brit in each race would become British champion, and two sets of pacing lights took the runners around the track: one set to the Paris Olympic Qualifying standards and the other for the European Championships. This was a chance for runners to seal their place at the world’s biggest competition.

As the sun went down, the music went up and the cheering erupted as the fastest runners flew by. 

In the women’s race, British runner Megan Keith came from behind with 100m to go to win the women’s race in 31:03.02, beating USA’s Fiona O’Keeffe in a thrilling sprint finish by less than half a second. 

The 22-year old Scottish runner had already achieved the Olympic standard of 30:40, and she secured her spot at the Paris Olympics by finishing as the top Brit. 

In the men’s race, Britain’s Patrick Dever led for much of the run, but was beaten by Djibouti’s Mohamed Ismael who ran 27:22.38. Dever’s time of 27:23.88 was 24-seconds outside the Olympic standard, but he remains the fastest Brit over 10,000m this year. 

The race’s lead sponsor is On and they are taking their On Track Nights to cities around the world in 2024. Starting with the Night of 10,000K PB’s London, they move on to events in Vienna, Paris, Tokyo and Melbourne, each a celebration of track running with a big party around it. 

Elsewhere in the world, there are other similar track and field events where runners prioritise taking part because of the chance to run fast times, but also to enjoy the celebration of running, like The TEN in San Juan Capistrano, California. 

These events are changing how we view athletics, celebrating track and field and running, and bringing more supporters to watch people run, which is a brilliant thing. 

We had the best time at The Night Of The 10,000m PB’s and we’ll be back cheering again next year.

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