Pavey is also aiming for a third victory over the scenic course after she recovered from a bout of violent sickness to win 12 months ago, regaining the crown she first claimed in 2011 when she became the first British winner of the women’s race.
Both athletes will be racing earlier in the month in the British Athletics 10,000m track trials for the Olympic Games. The Vitality London 10,000 doubles as the British Athletics 10K Road Championships, giving them a welcome opportunity to bag another national title while being part of a mass participation event.
For Pavey, who famously won the 10,000m gold at the 2014 European Championships aged 40, it’s the event’s unique location and atmosphere that make the Vitality London 10,000 a special race.
“The Vitality London 10,000 is such a fantastic event, with a brilliant course,” said the Exeter Harrier. “I have such great memories of competing. It’s so brilliant to be able to run such an exciting course that takes in the sights of the city.
“The atmosphere is always amazing, and I love running with lots of other runners, all going for their own goals.”
Vernon, who won silver behind fellow-Briton Mo Farah at the European Championships in Zurich two years ago, is also a fan of the London course and crowds.
“The London 10,000 always draws big crowds,” said the Aldershot, Farnham & District athlete. “I live just outside London but it still feels like I’m running in my home town. It’s also the capital so that makes it special. We pass some great sights, and it’s a flat, fast course.
“Training is going really well,” he added. “I’ve had to cut my mileage back a bit and supplement it with cycling and cross training due to injuries but I’m back to good fitness. As for a plan, it will simply be to win.”
Vernon clocked an impressive time of 28 minutes 38 seconds last year, some 43 seconds inside his previous best and the quickest road time by a Briton for four years. It was also the fastest winning time at this event since Mo Farah set the British record of 27:44 in 2010.
Pavey’s winning time of 32:56 was also remarkable coming just hours after a sleepless night of vomiting and fever, but this time she will be hoping for full health and a chance to get closer to her 10K road best of 31:47, or even Mary Keitany’s women’s course record of 31:06.
“I've been putting in the miles over the winter and working at getting my interval sessions where they need to be,” said the 42-year-old. “At least being old like me, I can use the experience I’ve gained over the years.”
The Vitality London 10,000 incorporates the British Athletics 10K Championships for men and women. The runners will start on The Mall, run east down the Strand before heading into the City of London over Holborn Viaduct. They will return down Whitehall and Birdcage Walk to finish on Spur Road outside Buckingham Palace.
The event forms the second part of a packed Whit Bank Holiday weekend of road running around central London, which will start on Sunday morning (29 May) with the fourth edition of the Vitality Westminster Mile, a series of races around St James’s Park for runners of all ages and abilities, from elites to families with young children.
For more about the Vitality London 10,000 go to: www.vitalitylondon10000.co.uk
For more about the Vitality Westminster Mile visit: www.vitalitywestminstermile.co.uk