25th May 2019
MUIR AND FARAH & WEIR TO HEADLINE WESTMINSTER MILE & VITALITY 10000 FIELDS
Double European Indoor Championship medallist Laura Muir (coach: Andy Young; club: Dundee Hawkhill) and Sir Mo Farah (Gary Lough; Newham & Essex Beagles) will headline the Westminster Mile and the Vitality 10000 respectively this bank holiday weekend.
A record number of elite wheelchair athletes will also be in action, including David Weir (Jenny Archer; Weir Archer Academy), who has won the Vitality 10000 on every appearance.
Both will once again serve as the British Championships over their respective distances, with fields stacked with defending champions, European and world medallists.
In Sunday’s Westminster Mile, Muir will face-off on London’s roads against defending champion and European Indoor 3000m bronze medallist, Melissa Courtney (Rob Denmark; Poole AC).
Courtney pipped Sarah McDonald (David Harmer; Birchfield Harriers) to the title last year by one second, stopping the clock at 4:35 and will be hoping to follow that up once again.
Fellow former champion Adelle Tracey (Craig Winrow; Guildford & Godalming) will return to action for the first time since the indoor season, while 800m European Indoor gold and world indoor bronze medallist Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (Jon Bigg; Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) is another contender.
Chris O’Hare (Terrence Mahon; Edinburgh AC) headlines the men’s race as he returns to defend his title on the streets of London.
The European Indoor silver medallist over 3000m is the fastest on paper in the field, with a 3:52.91 time set at the 5th Avenue Mile in 2017, but will face tough competition in the form of Nick Goolab (Craig Winrow; Belgrave), who is enjoying a resurgence on the roads, and Elliot Giles (Jon Bigg; Birchfield), third in 2018, who races on his birthday.
World Para Athletics Marathon Championship silver medallist Derek Rae (Ron Morrison; Fife AC) will aim to follow up his success on the streets of the capital last month, while JohnBoy Smith (Jenny Archer; Weir Archer Academy) & Simon Lawson (Ian Thompson; Carlisle Tri) begin their bid for a double in the capital in the elite wheelchair field.
Sir Mo Farah will be favourite to defend his Vitality 10000m title on bank holiday Monday as the course record holder bids for a sixth title in the capital.
Farah is back on London’s streets less than a month after taking the British title at the London Marathon, where he finished fifth, however he’ll have to contend with two former champions.
Andrew Butchart (Central) and Andy Vernon (self; Aldershot; Farnham & District) are both double champions on the course and will pose Farah problems, whilst Goolab, the first Brit home at the Manchester 10K, will race for the second time in 24 hours, with Derek Rae (Ron Morrison; Fife AC) also looking to improve on his 32:14 best.
The women’s equivalent field is led by Steph Twell (self; AFD), who is out to defend her title and arrives in good form having set a personal best of 31:57 at the Brighton Marathon 10K last month, but Welsh half-marathon record holder Charlotte Arter (Chris Jones; Cardiff) will look to add a title on the road to her British 10,000m track title.
2016 champion and the third Brit at this year’s London Marathon, Lily Partridge (self; AFD) will be another to keep an eye on, as will Jess Piasecki (Robert Hawkins; Stockport), who returns to the roads after enjoying a successful comeback cross country season.
David Weir goes for his third title over the 10,000m distance on Monday, having won in 2016 and 2018, but the fastest man in the field is Simon Lawson, who makes his debut.
Fellow debutant Smith will look to challenge training partner Weir and the Commonwealth silver medallist will be optimistic of a strong performance, while runner-up last year Daniel Sidbury (Christine Parsloe; Sutton & District) will aim to improve on his second-place last year, following a successful start to the season on the track at the BWAA Grand Prix last weekend
Defending champion in the elite women’s wheelchair event is Mel Nicholls (Job King; Coventry), who pipped Nikki Emerson in a sprint finish last year, faces another former champion in 2016 victor, Shelly Woods (Jenny Archer; Weir Archer Academy).
Both will have to be on their guard though as 18-year-old Eden Rainbow-Cooper (Jenny Archer; Weir Archer Academy), twice a junior winner on the course, makes her senior bow.
The Westminster mile will be live on the BBC Red Button on Sunday 26 May from 9:25-12:30.