9-Year-Old Runs 17:40 Parkrun to Break World Record by 13 Seconds

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A recent parkrun in Poole, England ended a little differently than most when nine-year-old Louis Robinett took to the line.

The fifth grader completed the course in 17:40, which was not only a new personal best for Robinett, but also a world record 5k parkrun for his age.

The nine-year-old took 13 seconds off the previous record which was set six years ago at a parkrun in California.

Parkrun provides a number of statistics for runners to use when looking at their time. One of these is an age-graded scheme that helps athletes compare their performance to each other while taking age and sex into account.

Using parkrun’s age-grading scheme, Robinett’s run scored in the 92.55 percent. His record-breaking run places him in the “World Class Level” category using parkrun’s age-graded scheme.

Robinett’s performance quickly attracted media and he spoke to BBC of his elation.

“I’m on top of the the world right now! It’s a huge deal to break the world record. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family and the team at Poole Runners.”

Parkrun is open to individuals of all ages, however, their rules state that anyone under the age of 11 must be within arms length of an adult at all times throughout the run.

As a member of the Poole Runners Juniors, his parkrun was paced by fellow club member Dion Garner, who also acted as his “adult within arms reach.”

Garner also spoe to BBC of the Robinett’s talent, “His natural talent, combined with his dedication and spirit, is mind-blowing. He’s not just a star in the making – he’s a star right now.”

Robinett’s running club, Poole Runners said, “With his new world record, Louis has raised the bar for you athletes everywhere. This isn’t just a win for Louis, it’s a new benchmark for your sports, inspiring children all over the world to aim higher.”

Parkruns began in 2004 in the United Kingdom. Now known across the globe, parkruns are free, timed 5k runs that occur weekly at various locations. Taking place every Saturday and Sunday in 20 countries, parkrun is one of the most well-known running events.

Parkruns are organized by volunteers and emphasize that their events are for everyone, whether they walk, jog, run, or volunteer.

Parkruns have had longevity thanks to the support of global partners, land owners, and their volunteers, allowing their events to remain free for everyone.

The main objective of parkrun is to inclusivity and well-being through running. Parkrun aims to get as many people as possible out to events to create a sense of community in local towns and the parkrun global community.

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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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