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02-05-2022
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McColgan’s victory just seconds off British record

Club runner Ellis Cross beats Sir Mo Farah, while Eilish McColgan wins women’s race, two seconds off British and European record

The Vitality London 10,000 returned to central London today (Bank Holiday Monday 2 May) for the first time since 2019 – with an explosive elite race that saw Eilish McColgan come within seconds of the European and British 10K record while in the men’s race, Aldershot, Farnham and District club runner Ellis Cross forced multiple world and Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah into second place.

Cross outsprinted Farah in the closing stages to seal the biggest win of his career in 28:40, four seconds ahead of Farah’s time of 28:44.

Asked how he felt on beating the mighty Farah, Cross said: “I’m lost for words – I did not expect this in a million years. Honestly, I know it’s a cliché, but I couldn’t believe it. I just felt very good from the get-go. Obviously, I knew Farah had a finish, so the last 2K I thought I’d try and wind it up a bit – try to sting his legs a little bit to hold him off.

“The route is just amazing – it’s only every so often that you’re able to even take an opportunity like this. To do so well in front of such a big crowd is crazy. But I think it helped – obviously everyone was supporting Sir Mo and nobody knew who I was! So to be able to hold him off and win it – I can’t believe it!”

The route is just amazing – it’s only every so often that you’re able to even take an opportunity like this. To do so well in front of such of such a big crowd is crazy. But I think it helped – obviously everyone was supporting Sir Mo and nobody knew who I was! So to be able to hold him off and win it – I can’t believe it!

Ellis Cross

Men's winner of the 2022 Vitality London 10,000

Mohamud Aadan came third in the men’s race, in a time of 28:48.

Eilish McColgan, meanwhile, was just two seconds away from breaking Paula Radcliffe’s 19-year-old European and British record of 30:21 – winning the women’s race in 30:23. However that time meant she did beat her mum’s, Liz Nuttall (formerly McColgan) Scottish 10K record of 30:39, set in Orlando in 1989.

“I am gutted to have missed the British record by a couple of seconds,” said McColgan after the race. “I probably didn’t believe I could do it, so I went into the race thinking I’d be happy to run 31:40, but I’m in much better shape than I give myself credit for.

“To be honest, I only saw the clock when I turned the corner towards the Finish Line, and I thought ‘Oh my god, I could make it in time!’”

Speaking about making her debut in the Vitality London 10,000, McColgan said: “It’s my first time at the event and I loved it. The crowds were brilliant, and you get other runners cheering you on too, so that really helped when I felt tired – there’s no time to switch off.

“I think I probably ran a 200m PB in the push for the Finish Line, I was so desperate to get the record, but hopefully there will be another opportunity to go for it again later this year.”

It’s my first time at the event and I loved it. The crowds were brilliant, and you get other runners cheering you on too, so that really helped when I felt tired – there’s no time to switch off.

Eilish McColgan

Women's winner of the 2022 Vitality London 10,000

Sixteen wheelchair athletes also took part this year, with reigning Vitality London 10,000 champion Danny Sidbury winning the men’s race in 21:22, followed by a close-fought battle for second and third between Paralympic star David Weir and JohnBoy Smith.

There was another Scottish win in the women’s wheelchair race, with Samantha Kinghorn taking the crown in 24:45, followed by Eden Rainbow-Cooper and 2019 winner Shelly Woods in third.

As well as the elites, more than 16,500 people are set to take part across 10 start waves. The penultimate wave of the day is dedicated to up to 2,000 participants who pledged to Run for Ukraine. One hundred per cent of their discounted £15 entry fees will be donated by organisers London Marathon Events to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

After a successful first edition in 2019, the Celebrate You wave also returns to highlight the mental health benefits of regular exercise. This last wave of the day will see 1,000 participants led by Celebrate You co-founder, journalist and author Bryony Gordon taking on her tenth consecutive 10K as the finale of her ‘10 days of 10Ks’ challenge.

In the run-up to the event Bryony has used her challenge to inspire people to get active and promote the peer support group Mental Health Mates that she founded in 2016.

The Vitality London 10,000 comes the day after the Vitality Westminster Mile, which saw more than 3,000 participants of all ages and abilities taking on a series of family-friendly mile events.

And for some rest and relaxation before or after the events, the free Vitality Wellness Festival in Green Park offers exciting free activities for children on the Sunday and the chance to run on the Vitality Tumbleator, a giant treadmill, on both days.

The Vitality London 10,000 was broadcast live on BBC Red Button and the Vitality London 10,000 Facebook page from 09:45 to 11:45 Monday 2 May.