News & Updates

3 November 2022 • Track and Field

Marquee innovation set to boost NZ 10,000m Championships

The Night of the 10,000m PBS in London acted as the inspiration for the marquee innovation to be used at the 2022 New Zealand 10,000m Championships at Newtown Park, Wellington. Credit: (Getty Images)

Athletes competing at the 2022 New Zealand 10,000m Championships, which takes place in conjunction with the Agency Group 10,000m Festival at Newtown Park, Wellington (19 Nov) will run through a marquee each lap in an innovative approach to enhance spectator atmosphere and aid athlete performance.

Taking its inspiration from the hugely popular annual Night of the 10,000m PBS held in London, organisers will erect a 21m long and 10m wide marquee which will be situated approximately 80 to 60m from the finish line. The 10m wide marquee will run from the in-field to approximately lane eight giving spectators a unique opportunity to get close to the action and offer their support.

Event co-organiser Mark Moore said: “The Night of 10,000m PBs in the UK was the inspiration behind starting our event (the Agency Group Festival) in 2018 and the marquee is something we have seen as a great success for their event and others too.

“We regularly attract a decent crowd to our meet and the marquee will attract more spectators in closer proximity closer and help generate a better atmosphere. It is also a nice wet weather option should it be raining and I’m sure the athletes too will receive a great boost each lap running through the marquee. Some 40 per cent of competing athletes set a PB at the meet and we hope this innovation will further maintain high performance standards.”

Athletics NZ Competitions Manager Jason Cameron said: “It’s fantastic to see such innovations from organisers to not only elevate and inspire our athletes but also create a unique experience for spectators and supporters. We can learn a lot from how athletics is presented internationally and in time introduce our own authentic experiential initiatives.”

The festival of 10,000m running will boast a five-race programme – a race walk, two mixed races, a women’s only elite race (for the New Zealand senior women’s title) and a men’s only elite race – in which both the national senior and U20 men’s 10,000m titles will be on the line.

Besides the prestige of chasing for a national title the event will also act as an opportunity to gain a performance standard time in the quest for selection for the 2023 World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia next February.

To help athletes achieve the senior’s men’s performance standard of 29:45 and senior women’s 34:30 organisers have attracted sub-28 minute 10,000m runner Oli Chignell and national women’s 1500m, mile, 3000m and 5000m champion Laura Nagel to act as pacemakers. A pacemaker will also be designated to target 32:00 – the men’s U20 performance standard for Bathurst.

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