Harriers to host the European Cup

Friday, 3rd November 2017 — By Steve Barnett

Parliament Hill Athletics Track

IT’S official… the very best athletes in Europe are heading to Parliament Hill Fields.

It’s been announced that the 2018 European 10,000m Cup will be integrated into the Highgate Harriers’ much-loved showpiece ‘Night of the 10,000m PBs’ on May 19.

It will be the first time that the competition will have been held in Great Britain since it was created in 1997 – although there have been several British winners including Paula Radcliffe in 1999 and 2001 and Mo Farah in 2010.

“I’m over the moon that our 25-lap volunteer-powered party can welcome the European Cup to our 2018 edition,” said race director Ben Pochee.

“Night of the 10,000m PBs was conceived with the goal of helping improve 10,000m racing standards and showcasing the true excitement of our sport. Integrating the European Cup with our European Championship British Trials will offer competitors unprecedented racing quality and provide fans with free access to an international smackdown.”

The Night of the 10,000m PBs has quickly become embedded into British athletics, and in recent years has included trials for the European and World Championships and even the 2016 Rio Olympics.

With that in mind it’s hard to believe that the entire race day is completely free for spectators, who get so close to the action that they can cheer from lane four of the track.

“I’m just so excited, I keep pinching myself,” added Ben. “We’re just little old Highgate Harriers, a bunch of volunteers who love athletics. And we’ll be welcoming the very best athletes in Europe to our little track in Parliament Hill Fields.

“It’s completely free, and we want everyone to come down and enjoy the action. It’s the spectators who make the event, they own it, and it’s their sup­port, with all the volunteers, that make it such a success.”

Cherry Alexander, British Athletics major event director, said: “We’re delighted that the 2018 European 10,000m Cup will be held as part of the Night of the 10,000m PBs in London next year.

“Ben Pochee and the team at Highgate Harriers have set the bar high for event presentation in recent years and it’s great that this is now being recognised internationally.

“Creating a great atmosphere for spectators helps athletes to perform at their very best and we can be proud yet again that the UK is going to host an international championship.”

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