6th May 2021

Grøvdal denied 5k World Record as course is too short

Norwegian runner Karoline Grøvdal has been denied a women’s 5k road race World Record, after organisers admitted that the course at Maarud in Sør-Odal was 12.5m too short. Grøvdal, a two time Olympian, recorded a time of 14:39 in the 1 May race, beating Beatrice Chepkoech’s official World Record (14:43) by four seconds and Beth Potter’s unofficial record (14:41), set last month, by two seconds. 

Organisers explained that the race was originally planned to take place at Gardermoen in Ullensaker on a course that had received Level B approval from the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS), which is required in order to approve any records. However due to Covid-19 protection measures in that area, the race was moved on 27 April, and the course was not approved by AIMS in advance.

‘To help us measure the course, we contacted a measurer affiliated with the Norwegian organisation for cardio (KONDIS), with whom we have a good relationship’, read a statement. ‘The measurement of the course was completed on 27 April. The course did not satisfy the international and national requirements for records, which we made involved actors aware of.’

Norway has only one AIMS Level B track measurer…

After the race, questions arose as to whether Grøvdal’s performance could be ratified as a World Record. There is only one track measurer holding B-level certification in Norway, and he measured the course on 2 May after being contacted by race organisers. ‘The report from the control measurement is available, and the course has been measured at 4,987.5 metres’, continues the statement. ‘That is, the measurement is missing in excess of four metres per round – a total of 12.5 metres’.

Organisers pointed out that on a full 5k course, Grøvdal would have finished within Chepkoech’s World Record, as she would have completed the extra 12.5 metres in two seconds. ‘On behalf of Rekordløpet and Ullensaker / Kisa Friidrett [race organisers], we wish to apologise in the strongest terms for Karoline’s fantastic performance not being approved as a record’, continued the statement. ‘For the record, all other formalities around Karoline’s race have been taken care of. Doping control was carried out on site by Anti-Doping Norway.’

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