After a hugely successful collaboration in 2018, European Athletics has extended a contract with British Athletics and Highgate Harriers which will keep the European 10,000m Cup in London until 2020 as part of the Night of the 10,000m PBs.
The European 10,000m Cup was staged for the first time in conjunction with the Night of the 10,000m PBs this year at the famous Parliament Hill Athletics Track in Highgate, north London on 19 May.
The Night of the 10,000m PBs, which aims to promote distance running at club and national level in Great Britain and showcase 10,000m running in an exciting format, has become one of the most popular fixtures on the British athletics calendar since its inception in 2013.
The event has expanded in stature over the last six editions, staging the British Olympic Trials in 2016, the IAAF World Championships Trials in 2017 before playing host to the European 10,000m Cup in 2018.
“We are very pleased to extend the contract with British Athletics and Highgate Harriers which keeps the European 10,000m Cup in London for another two years. After attending the Night of the 10,000m PBs this year, I can say this is absolutely the right decision and I am sure the collaboration will continue to be mutually beneficial,” said President Svein Arne Hansen.
“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. It was great to see - and to speak to - so many enthusiastic and passionate fans and I’m sure the next two years will be no different.
“I was elected on a manifesto which was entitled ‘Leading Change’ and we are always willing to support new competition formats which makes athletics more attractive. The Night of the 10,000m PBs has highlighted the demand for high quality 10,000m races in Europe and the grassroots element reflects very strongly European Athletics’ Your Sport for Life mission statement.”
British Athletics Major Event Director Cherry Alexander said on the extension of the partnership: “Great Britain has a rich history of both producing endurance athletes of the highest order and hosting great international events, so we are proud to be partnering with European Athletics once again to keep the European 10,0000m Cup in Highgate through until 2020.
“The enthusiasm and passion for the Night of the 10,000m PBs is always brilliant and is truly an event that has gone from strength to strength since its inception. With this in mind, the addition of the European 10,000m Cup for the next two years will only serve to aid the growth and development of the Night of the 10,000m and push it to new levels.”
The driving force behind the Night of the 10,000m PBs is race director Ben Pochee who looks forward to welcoming back the best of Europe to the Parliament Hill Athletics Track in 2019.
“After the success of our integrated event in 2018, we welcome back the European 10,000m Cup with open, aerobic arms. Our event was conceived with the goal of improving 10,000m racing standards, and welcoming 30 nations to our 25 lap party as part of the European 10,000m Cup has done wonders to enhance PB potential for all athletes,” he said.
“The depth of racing across our nine 10,000m races this year was at an all-time high and it is fantastic to see four performances from this year’s event in the top-10 of the 2018 world lists.
“However, none of this would be possible without our extensive NGB and commercial partnership support and most importantly our grassroots community who each year bring more passion and atmosphere to our event. I cannot wait to welcome back all athletes on 6 July to join our #Lane3BeerNCheer spectators, celebrating the sport we love.”
The free-to-attend event features live music and DJs as well as the trademark 60-metre beer tent along the back straight where fans can watch the races unfold while enjoying the hospitality. The organisers added another unique vantage point this year with a pedestrian footbridge spanning the home straight of the eight-lane track.
Approximately 8000 spectators attended this year’s event and another 50,000 viewers tuned in online to watch Germany’s Richard Ringer win the men’s race in 27:36.52 and Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter win the women’s race in 31:33.03. Both winning times were the fastest times set by European athletes in 2018.
The European 10,000m Cup first took place in 1997 under its initial title of the European 10,000m Challenge. The annual event has attracted many all-time greats of distance running with past winners including global champions Paula Radcliffe and Mo Farah from Great Britain, Fernanda Ribeiro from Portugal and Dieter Baumann from Germany.