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Australian runner breaks parkrun world record

Lauren Reid covered the 5K course in 15:45, four seconds faster than the previous record

Parkrun may not be the most competitive running event out there, but it still attracts some speedy athletes. On January 23, Australian runner Lauren Reid broke the women’s Parkrun world record in a time of 15:45, beating the previous record set by Charlotte Arter in 2019 by four seconds. Reid talked about her run in an interview with The Strava Club, including her not-so-smooth lead-up to the race.

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According to the interview, prior to her run (which she had announced would be a record-breaking attempt), Reid had a root canal treatment that didn’t go to plan, which forced her to take time off work in the days leading up to the run. On top of that, she spent a significant amount of time looking for a washroom the morning of the run, leaving her next to no time to do a proper warmup. Luckily, the 35-year-old says she thrives under pressure, and she still managed to accomplish what she set out to do.

Reid ran her first kilometre in a blazing-fast 2:50, which she admitted was quicker than she had intended, but she was able to settle into a rhythm and feel in control for most of the race. It wasn’t until she had about 1,500m to go that she felt she began to lose some of that control, but she managed to hang on and still broke the tape in world-record timing.

“The last K or so wasn’t pretty,” she told Strava.

Unsurprisingly, this is not Reid’s first big success. She has an incredible range and owns a PB of 2:03 in the 800m and 1:12 in the half-marathon, and she won the New South Wales 10,000m state championships in October in a time of 33:52. This new Parkrun record is yet another item to add to her list of achievements, and it will be exciting to see what Reid will do next.

In her interview with Strava, she spoke about her experience as a new world record holder and the inclusiveness of Parkrun.

“The sense of inclusiveness and community, the passion and support has been incredible, both on the day and since then. Parkrun is really relatable to many people and creates a shared sense of familiarity around the globe,” she said. “It’s pretty unique and I feel privileged to hold the world record and kind of excited to know it could be snatched away on any given Saturday.”

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