IAAF Diamond League 5000m in Eugene, USA on Saturday; a delayed transatlantic flight on Sunday; Vitality London 10,000 winner and UK champion on Monday (29 May) – that was the madcap weekend itinerary for Scotland's Andy Butchart, who shook off jet lag to retain his title in 29:18 from a record field of 12,400 finishers.
Butchart's Battle For London 10,000 Success
Andy Butchart (Central) had finished eighth in a blistering 5000m in Eugene in 13:11.45, in a race won by Mo Farah (13:00.70) with his trademark final lap sprint. Butchart's BA flight was cancelled so alternative arrangements had to be made to allow him to race in London. In a remarkable display of recuperative powers, the 25-year-old led from the gun in The Mall to the tape in front of Buckingham Palace, running just 50 seconds slower than his PB victory in 2016.
The Mall fell silent for a minute in support of the victims of last Monday’s suicide bombing in Manchester before the start. Event director Hugh Brasher introduced the tribute, saying: “As we run, as we have fun, as we enjoy this Bank Holiday weekend, we ask you to remember those lives lost, those injuries sustained, those families torn apart, and above all that love overcomes hate.”
Butchart's winning margin was eight seconds over surprise runner-up Abel Tsegay (Invicta East Kent, 29:26) with Andy Maud (Highgate Harriers, 29:45) third. Butchart summed up his weekend thus: “I was just chilling today. I’m lucky to be here to be honest because my BA flight was cancelled. My head feels good but my legs are tired. Last year was a bit quicker but the crowds were unbelievable today, twice as big as last year.”
Five-time Olympian Jo Pavey (Exeter Harriers, 32:57) was an ever popular winner of the women's national title from Sonia Samuels (Sale Harriers, 33:18) and Charlotte Purdue (Aldershot, Farnham & District, 33:32). Aldershot, Farnham and District won both men's and women's team championships.
Pavey reprised her triumphs in 2011 and 2015 in a terrific comeback after being forced to drop out of April’s Virgin Money London Marathon with cramps. “I was bitterly disappointed after the marathon because I felt like I’d let everyone down and I really wanted to put in a better performance today to make up for it,” said the 43-year-old after front-running to victory.
Full results are available on the runABC race listings page.
Image courtesy Vitality London 10,000 media