Just a week after taking the Super League Triathlon Arena Games London event, Beth Potter, armed with Asics’ new Metaspeed Sky shoes, has broken the world 5 km road record, clocking 14:41 at the Podium 5 km in Great Britain. That beats Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech’s official world record of 14:43 set in February by two seconds. Whether her effort will be ratified as a world record by World Athletics is still up in the air, though. According to news reports, the event appears to have had the appropriate sanctioning and has traditionally been an accurate course, but it is not certain if there was drug testing at the event, one of a number of requirements for a world record to be ratified.
Regardless of whether the performance goes down in history as a world record, Potter’s run is certainly an impressive achievement. The conditions appear to have been perfect for a speedy performance, with little wind and cool conditions. Potter was also competing in a heat against men. Last year, at the same event, the 2016 track and field Olympian (she ran the 10,000 m for Great Britain in Rio) ran 15:24. Today’s race makes her only the third British athlete to break 15 minutes for 5 km on the road (along with marathon legend Paula Radcliffe and Liz McColgan).
After running the Olympics in 2016 Potter started to compete in triathlon in 2017 while still competing in running events. She raced at the World Athletics Championships in 2017 and was the British 10,000 m champion on the track. That year she also managed to take the Funchal Sprint Triathlon European Cup the same year. In 2018 she represented Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in both triathlon and track and field. Last year she won the Valencia ITU Triathlon World Cup and was second at the Arzachena ITU Triathlon World Cup. Her great results at the end of the year, though, weren’t enough to get her named to Great Britain’s Olympic team – Jessica Learmonth, Georgia Taylor-Brown and Vicky Holland have been named to compete in Tokyo.