Amanda & Ryan Obliterate PR’s in London

Saturday night in London was one of those nights for Ryan Ford and Amanda Vestri. The atmosphere at the Night of 10,000 PB’s was electric, they were ready for a breakthrough performance, and they both delivered. Amanda ran a 44 second personal best, taking her 31:54 best all the way down to 31:10. And Ryan lopped 27 seconds off his best, going from 28:07 to 27:40.

Amanda was the first to take the track. At the crack of the gun Amanda took off and quickly found herself in the front of the large field. With the fastest group expected to run at the Olympic standard pace of 30:40, Amanda slowly slid back a few spots, laying off the fast early pace. But she didn’t slide far. Connected to the back of the front pack through the opening 4k of the race, she began to work her way back up toward the front as runners slowed and fell off.

The pace never quite got on 30:40 pace and Amanda passed halfway in 8th position at 15:27. As the race progressed, Amanda looked at ease with running a pace that a year ago would have been a 5k PR. As the group hit 7k things began to slow slightly. After clicking off 74-75 second laps up until that point they ran their first 1:16 lap, and Amanda hit the front. She injected a 73 second lap and quickly had a 2 second lead over the field.

They would rein her back in over the next 2 laps and by 8200m Megan Keith of the UK was in front. Amanda stayed connected until 3.5 laps remaining when a crack opened up between Keith, American Fiona O’Keefe (the winner of the Olympic Marathon Trials) and Amanda. Amanda would continue to grind out 74-75 second laps over the final K of the race to finish 3rd, 7 seconds back of both Keith and O’Keefe. It was a massive breakthrough performance she knew she was ready for. The mark guarantees her spot in the Olympic Trials next month by virtue of hitting the automatic qualifying standard of 31:30 and will likely have her seeded in the top 10.

In the men’s race that followed, Ryan took up residence in a large chase pack of athletes aiming to run at roughly 13:50-55 through the opening 5k. Feeling good, Ryan commented afterward that he felt like was having to hold himself back from running faster than 13:50 through the 5k mark, which he passed in 18th position.

After a few yo-yo laps to start the 2nd half of the race going from 68 to 65 and back to 67, he settled back into a steady groove of 66-67 second laps leading all the way up to the bell. He closed his final circuit in 61.9 to put a stamp on a career night. He finished in 10th with an automatic qualifying mark to next month’s Olympic Trials. His time will likely rocket him up from an on-the-bubble position to a top 10 seed.

You can find the full results here (their races are the 2 Championship races at the bottom of the list.)

You can watch a full replay of the race below, the video should be cued to start up at the 6:02:00 mark to begin Amanda’s race.