When the European 10,000m Cup returns to the Parliament Hill Athletics Track in north-west London a month today (6), it has quite an act to follow.
The 2018 edition was one of the best events of the year, a raucous evening of tremendous action and entertainment and performances of the highest quality – with personal bests for the first five men in the ‘A’ final, and the first eight in the women.
— Night Of The 10k PBs (@NightOf10kPBs) June 6, 2019
Like then, this year’s European 10,000m Cup will be staged in conjunction with the Night of the 10,000m PBs, a series of races which had the added excitement of parts of the home straight and back straight - known colloquially as the lactic tunnel of love - being under a canopy and fans standing so close they could touch the runners.
Though they would have had to have been quick – such was the speed Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter showed by winning the women’s race in a national record and world lead of 31:33.03. Just a few weeks later, Chemtai Salpeter was crowned European champion in Berlin.
The men’s race was a classic with Germany’s Richard Richard winning in 27:36.52 ahead of eventual European champion Morhad Amdouni from France in 27:36.80. Italy’s Yemaneberhan Crippa broke legendary Francesco Panetta’s Italian U23 record to finish third in 27:44.21 and three Brits also broke the 28 minute-mark.
Spain’s men won the team title and Great Britain were crowned women’s champions on home soil.
But it was not just about what happened on the track – the atmosphere had such a party-feel to it, with fire jugglers, a DJ, street bike entertainers and even a flypast from Royal Air Force Typhoon jets.
As European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen tweeted during the event: “Enjoying every minute of the innovation, passion & creativity of the @NightOf10kPBs including the @EuroAthletics 10,000m Cup in London! Good for the heart & soul.”
Such was the success, the Cup is now going to be held in Highgate for the next two years and on announcing that agreement, President Hansen said: “The organisers are clearly doing a lot of things right in terms of both race organisation and event presentation and should be an example for others to follow.”
Germany’s Dieter Baumann and Spain’s Julia Vaquero were the champions when Barakaldo staged the first edition of the event which began life as the European 10,000m Challenge before being renamed the European 10,000m Cup in 2005.