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Season well under way with OpenTrack Hot Summer Nights
Night of the 10,000pbs garners sports headlines all over the world
OpenTrack is approaching one of its busiest periods of the year, with a very array of action at dozens of venues each week.
The eagerly awaited Night of the 10k pbs was yet another huge success, with remarkable athletics on display for in excess of six hours, and 331 athletes tackling the classic grind. Our entry system worked smoothly, and the results service, as noted in our preview, is a vast mine of information and splits.
It’s always dramatic to see a run that eclipses 100% in the Age gradings, which as the years evolve date slightly as the human body continues its evolution. So we could purr at 21 year old Mizan Alem Adane carding a sub 30 [29:59.03] and an age-grading of 100.11%. Paul Chelimo missed the barbaric qualifiers for the Worlds of 27:10 by a smidgen in 27:12, but it was still a run that will live long in the memory of all who saw it.
Jess Judd was immaculate as ever with her 31:09, well up on last year and hopefully in line to attack her 30:35 from the Tokyo Olympics.
The organizers snuck in a quartet of junior 800 metre races toward the end of the night ahead of the two big championship races which turned out to be a really nice idea as the youngsters got to sample the thrill of the big time. And goodness it elicited results, like Tom Waterworth finding a 1:52.36 aged just 15.
From a sport’s lover’s point of view, perhaps Race 5 was the most startling, as an incredible 43 women fought out the non-elite - a pretty unthinkable amount a decade ago, and they were nearly balanced by 37 in the elite for an 80 total. In our partnership with the brilliant electricians at Seiko our live results service allowed runners to be tracked every 200 metres throughout the night.
The British championship was won by Andy Butchart in 27:47, who stated: “It definitely lived up to the expectations and more,” he enthused. “This is the way track needs to go. The guys here have absolutely smashed it. It’s a whirlwind.”
He added: “It’s not ‘track’. It’s like a different discipline. It’s not dull. It’s not boring. Everybody loves it here.”
And the last word should go to Chelimo who stated: “The crowd is amazing. Amazing! That’s what kept me going. I saw the (Wave) light was flickering and going away from me but I was just grinding because the crowds were cheering so hard. There are obviously a lot of people here who love running.”
And in the other corner of London
Elsewhere at somewhat a lower key affair, the last evening of May saw more outstanding running at the “Herc Wimbo 1500 Festival night”, where, as above, OpenTrack handled the entries, seeding and lane draws for 214 competitors, and live results.
There were many fine performances with the legendary Kojo Kyereme leading the age-gradings with his 95.17 and a 4:03 1500 at the age of 48. Other wonderful runs came from Alexander Riley with a 3:46 aged just 17, and Isabella Harrison’s remarkable 4:32 aged 13.
Here’s an image of perhaps England’s finest ever cross-country runner Dave Clarke [3 National wins and four runner’s-up spots] serving as tea-server for the night:
Elsewhere, things remain incredibly busy. This is our most super-charged track and field season yet and a brief glance at our schedule indicates some 40 athletics competitions all over Europe over last weekend and this, from Kraljevo to Chelmsford & Bislett to Tooting; the grassroot athletes of Europe are using and thriving off OpenTracks servers and platforms - not to mention quite a few global superstars too!