Peterborough Nene Valley athlete’s contribution as history was made in Lancashire

Peterborough Nene Valley AC’s Alex Gibb ran the race of his life in Lancashire on Saturday (April 3), but ended up playing a supporting role to an astonishing world record breaking run.

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 2:28 pm
Alex Gibb (220) and Beth Potter (205) during the latter's world record run. Photo: Peter Brown photography

The Podium 5km course in the village of Barrowford at the foot of Pendle Hill has a reputation for producing fast times and attracts many of the country’s top road runners.

Gibb lined up alongside 2016 Olympic 10,000m finalist turned professional triathlete Beth Potter, along with 31 other athletes in the second fastest of seven graded races.

Running together for the entire distance Gibb shattered his PB, running a time of 14:42 for 18th position, while Potter finished one second ahead, breaking the women’s 5km road world record in the process.

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Her time was two seconds inside the world best set by Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech and 10 seconds inside Paula Radcliffe’s British record.

Sadly Potter’s world record may not stand as the race did not meet the World Athletics criteria around doping control and time keeping.

Thirty year old Gibb had a PB of 16:09 which he ran as a 16 year old, but after years away from the sport he has been training hard over the last few months.

“My aim going into the race was to run as close to 15 minutes flat as possible,” Gibb said. “I knew I was in good shape as I’ve been training hard with Phil Martin, however I didn’t know I could run 14:42.” .

“I found myself in a good group running roughly 4:40 per mile pace and decided to try and stay with them until the end, and it paid off!

“I was running beside Beth Potter for most of the race and could hear everyone cheering for her. When we crossed the finish line she looked shocked to have run that fast. It looked like a magical moment for her.

“I was over the moon with my performance and time. It was worth the six hour round trip travelling from Peterborough to Lancashire with my dad. I can’t wait for my next big race and to run fast again!”

Gibb goes again in the Mid-Cheshire 5k on 30 April on another course famed for producing fast times.