After months of elite only events, April’s easing of lockdown restrictions saw road running return, and it was well worth the wait. With Lancashire’s Podium 5k event making sporting headlines around the world after triathlete Beth Potter ran the second fastest road 5k in history finishing the B race in a time of 14:41. Which if rectified, would not only be a British national record, but also a world record. Preston Harriers were represented at the Podium race by five of the club’s best runners, all of whom ran elite standard times. In the A race, Daniel Bebbington broke 14 minutes (13:59) for the first time, whilst Joe Monk (14:24) and Andy Benson (14:49) both broke the 15-minute barrier. Whilst in the B race Mhairi MacLennan broke 16 minutes to finish in a time of 15:47 and the doctor Elsey Davis, ran a time of 16:09.
The Barrowford course already has a reputation for fast times and competitive fields, so it will be interesting to see what impact a result like this has on the event and the sport with similar events already starting to pop up across England. Could it be that self-contained, multitap races become the norm for road running? If it does, it could only be a good thing, helping to drive up standards.
One such podium inspired event is the Athletics Weekly Fast 5k, which is organised by Events of the North and British athletics legend Steve Cram. Held on the bank holiday Monday, the event saw a similarly high-class field line up, among whom were five Preston Harriers who went in the B race. Wesley Wilkinson was first home in a time of 16:28, followed by new signing Ross McKelvie in 16:51 and junior Luke Suffolk who ran a big PB to finish in 17:27. Next in were veterans Steve Hallas (18:14) and Mark Lee who ran a PB of 18:22.