Europe is packed full of options for quick 10km races and they are an ideal fit with cross country season. We explore some of your best autumn and winter options to nail that 10km PB.
The Night of the 10,000m PBs was another pageant of 10km racing. The noise of the crowd is still ringing in our ears. The inspiring performances from the likes of Steph Twell and Ben Connor is still fresh in our minds. So what better time is there to think about setting yourself a goal 10km?
In this article we summarise some of Europe’s best 10km opportunities in the autumn and winter. It’s not an exhaustive list so be sure to get in touch and shout about the races you’ve PB’s at and would recommend.
If you want top tips on how to run your best 10km race then check out our recent article.
Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash – Leeds, UK (October)
The ‘Abbey Dash’ has been a firm favourite of British PB hunters for years. A quick glance at the top 100 10km road rankings on the Power of 10 and you’ll soon realise that alongside Telford 10km this is one fast race!
With changes to the course in 2019 it is expected to be even quicker this year. The out and back route follows the flat course of the River Aire taking in Kirkstall Abbey. Like Telford, however, it is the density of fast runners taking part that makes this race such a hit.
Tilburg 10km – Tilburg, Netherlands (September)
Tilburg 10km takes place on the same day as the famous 10 mile race of the same name.
The flat fast 10km course however attracts a high qaulity field. The separate elite women’s race has seen some spectacular performances over the years including the course record of 30:30 set by Tirunesh Dibaba in 2013 and Shalane Flanagan who broke the American record here with 31:03 in 2015.
The Dutch have a fantastic pedigree of putting on super fast races with great support for elites including Dam tot Damloop and Parelloop 10km.
Telford 10km – Telford, UK (December)
The depth of quality is what makes Telford special. In 2018 49 men ran sub 31 minutes and a 34:00 clocking saw you finish 192nd. The qaulity of the women’s times reflects the depth of the race too with 12 women breaking 35 minutes and 59 breaking 40 minutes.
Track back through the videos and social media posts of previous years and you’ll know to expect a lightening quick start. Find your train and hang on!
The December timing works well for many runners, with the endurance from cross country season beginning to bed in this is one of the last opportunities to crack a PB and hit the new year on a high.
Ladywell 10,000m – London, UK (September)
If you were inspired by the Night of the 10,000m PBs and fancy a crack yourself the Ladywell 10,000m could be just the ticket. Organised by Kent AC, who know a thing or two about distance running, this event is becoming an increasing popular option for athlete’s wanting a high quality track race.
Taking place on the beautiful track at Ladywell Fields the event sees seven seeded races across the day. With music, food, pacemakers and a brilliant family atmosphere this is a proper celebration of 10,000m running.
Paul Martelletti and Katrina Wootton (who ran 31:45 here in 2017) have been winners in recent years so if you are looking for fast times you are bound to have company to help get you there.
Corrida de Houilles – Paris, France (December)
Julia Wanders broke his own European 10km record in the 2018 edition of this famous race running 27:25.
Naturally the course is fast, but it does have a few undulations as it works its way around three laps of the Paris suburb. The race has an excellent atmosphere with locals coming out to support creating a real buzz in the town centre which is easily accessible by train from central Paris.
The separate mass participation race takes place earlier in the day with elite race starting at 16:30. This just adds to the atmosphere with many of the runners from earlier in the day staying on, often with a drink or two in hand, to see the elites battle it out.
Last year four British men broke the 30 minute barrier here and in 2017 Ben Connor ran 29:03, Rosie Clarke 33:04 and Katrina Wootton 33:33.
Taking place at the end of December it’s not a bad place to stay on and bring in the New Year either!
Valencia 10km – Valenica, Spain (December)
Taking place on the same day as the increasingly popular Valencia marathon this is a race made for fast times.
Valencia brands itself the ‘city of running’ and over the last few years some of the spectacular times we’ve seen here seem to back that up. With the world half marathon records for both men and women set in Valencia it’s a city that knows how to set up a fast race.
The 10km is no different. With long stretches of straight, pancake flat road the final 1km is invitingly downhill leading to the spectacular finish outside the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias.
There is good support offered for international elite athletes and travel is easy from major airports in the UK.
Cardiff 10km – Cardiff, UK (September)
Wales’s biggest 10km race takes place at the beginning of September each year. Run by the same team who organised the World Half Marathon Championship when it took place in Cardiff the race is perfectly set up for quick running.
With past winners including Dewi Griffiths (29:10 – 2018) and Lily Partridge (33:27 – 2018) Cardiff 10km attracts some top athletes looking for a fast early race.
The flat single lap course is blessed with very few twists and turns and attracts some good local support to cheer you on your way.
San Silvestre Vallecana – Madrid, Spain (December)
Another race allowing a good New Year party is the San Silvestre Vallecana in Madrid. The prestigious race has taken place on New Year’s Eve since 1964 with up to 40,000 runners taking part in two races.
The elite race has seen course records set by Paula Radcliffe (31:16) and Jacob Kiplimo. Kiplimo’s time of 26:41 is the fastest road 10km ever run but the net downhill course does not allow for it to be an official world record.
To get into the ‘elite’ race (which has 1000 places) you’ll need to have run inside 39 minutes if you are a man and 45 minutes if you are a woman.
Birell 10 km Race – Prague, Czech Republic (September)
The annual Prague Grand Prix is part of the excellent Run Czech series of races which offer good support for travelling international elite athletes.
Four of the top 10 fastest women’s times in history have been run here and it has by far the most sub 28 men’s times of any race in the world. Joyciline Jepkosgei set a new womens world record here of 29:43 in 2017.
Aside from being about the fastest race on this list the race has a unique atmosphere. Taking place at twilight in one of the most beautiful cities in the world no matter how your race goes you’re likely to have a great weekend here.
We Run Rome 10km – Rome, Italy (December)
As if you didn’t have enough fast New Year choices already here is another! Taking place on New Year’s Eve the We Run Rome 10km is now in it’s ninth edition.
With nearly 10,000 runners taking part there is something for everyone, especially those hunting fast times. The 2018 race saw winning times of 31:46 from Lonah Chemtai Salpeter and 29:05 from Daniele Meucci.
Foulees Monterelaises 10km, Montereau-Fault-Yonne, France (October)
With records of 28:16 and 31:28 the course is fast and the field is strong. The 2018 edition of the race saw 106 men run sub 35 minutes. Whilst the depth of the women’s field was not quite as strong with 14 women inside 39 minutes it’s clear the race allows the opportunity for quick times.
Montereau is a pretty town that sits on the confluence of the Seine and Yonne rivers. It’s a little over an hour’s drive South East of Paris. The location of the race beside the two rivers allows for a fast two lap course.
As with all French races you’ll need to have a stamped letter from your GP or sports doctor to confirm your readiness to race.