British triathlon specialist breaks 5km road world record – but will it count? 

A Scottish triathlon specialist ran an astonishing world-record beating time in the 5km road race on Saturday in the latest shock result from an athlete wearing ‘super shoes’.

Beth Potter, wearing carbon-plated Asics shoes, ran 14:41 at the Podium 5km, two seconds faster than the benchmark set in February by Beatrice Chepkoech in Monaco.

However, her feat may not count in the record books due to World Athletics regulations that stipulate that anti-doping officials should have been on site at the meeting in Barrowford, Lancashire. 

While the Barrowford event has a licence permit from both Run Britain and the Association of Running Clubs (ARC),  World Athletics requires a strict criteria on world record times – from course accuracy pre-race measurements and the presence of anti-doping officers. The sport will now wait for the governing bodies to make their judgement on the performance.

Regardless of ratification, Potter’s time is in fact the second-fastest in history after Joyciline Jepkosgei recorded 14:32 before the 5km became an official world record discipline in 2018.

Potter made the most of cool, still conditions on a flat course to also slash 10 seconds off Paula Radcliffe’s British record of 14:51. 

Potter finished 16th overall in the mixed “Podium 5k Sub-15.30” race while wearing Asics’ Metaspeed Sky, the latest shoe to be combined with a carbon fibre plate to help increase runners’ stride length.

The rapid time was set just a week after British Olympic marathon trials winner Chris Thompson was given permission from his shoe sponsor to wear rival Nike Vaporfly footwear as long as he painted over the branding. Thompson then produced the race of his life at Kew Gardens just a month short of his 40th birthday, securing his spot at this summer’s Olympics an incredible 23 years after first representing his country.

Potter’s previous road 5km best was 15:24, which was set at the same Podium 5km event in August. She was the UK 10,000m champion on the track in 2017 and ran 10,000m at Rio 2016, but switched to triathlon in part due sponsorship issues. In recent weeks she has hit her best form, however, winning the Super League Triathlon Arena Games event at London’s Aquatics Centre.

The 5km has been registered as an official world record by World Athletics since January 2018, with Jepkosgei missing out on the honour as she set her 14:32 during a 10km in Prague in 2017.

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