Andy Vernon smashed his personal best to retain the Bupa London 10,000 title in central London on Bank Holiday Monday while Jo Pavey overcame a bout of violent sickness to regain the women’s crown after almost withdrawing from the race overnight.
The European Championship medallists from Zurich last summer became 2015 British Athletics 10K champions after pulling away from their nearest challengers over the final third of the looping course from The Mall to the City and back to St James’s Park.
Around 12,000 runners took to the streets of the capital for the annual event enjoying great conditions and a carnival holiday atmosphere over a course that includes Trafalgar Square, St Paul’s Cathedral, Whitehall and Parliament Square.
“I felt in control the whole way,” said race winner Vernon, the Aldershot, Farnham & District athlete, after clocking 28:38, the quickest winning time at this event since Mo Farah set the British record of 27:44 in 2010. It was great to win last year, but this year was just as good. The support out there was brilliant and it was fantastic to have all the mass runners cheering me on.”
Pavey also gave thanks for the 'fantastic support' which carried her to the line in 32:56 just hours after she’d endured a sleepless night of vomiting and fever. “I really didn’t know what to do after last night,” said the 41-year-old Exeter Harrier after regaining the title she last won in 2011. “I threw up all night and I was freezing. I just couldn’t keep anything down. I was violently sick five times, and even had red spots under my eyes from the effort.
“It was a real gamble to run but I’m so glad I did. To win after a night like that is surreal. It was so hard to judge what to do, but my legs didn’t feel that bad in warm up, and then after a few kilometres I really got into it.”
Behind the elites, around 12,000 runners completed the scenic course, which takes in many of the capital’s best known sights, including Trafalgar Square, St Paul’s Cathedral, Whitehall and Parliament Square.