Joshua Williams has recorded a world record time for a seven year-old over 10 kilometres.
Joshua Williams has recorded a world record time for a seven year-old over 10 kilometres. Claudia Williams

Meet the world record breaking seven-year-old

RUNNING: When Joshua Williams sets his mind to something he will work towards it until he achieves it.

At the Twilight Running Festival in Brisbane on Sunday Joshua recorded a world record time for a seven-year-old in the 10km road run.

He finished the race in a time of of 39 minutes and 27 seconds, three minutes and two seconds faster than the current record.

He has been working towards running in world record time since his seventh birthday in July 2017 when he decided he would break the 5km road run record for his age group.

In working towards his goal he discovered he was running at world record pace for 10km.

"I am trying to break the 5km world record because that is my original goal but I just found out that I could run 10km world records because I was doing so on this course in training," Joshua said.

The Twilight Running Festival was a big step up for the kid from Murgon who before Sunday had only raced at his school's cross country and Wondai Parkrun.

"I felt really happy and they had the ribbon out for me even though I didn't come first," he said.

"I felt the pressure and I also felt excited and happy that I was able to go for the world record when I started but I was super happy when I broke the world record at the end.

"When I finished everyone wanted an interview and wanted to take my photo and I just wanted to play on the obstacle course."

For the last 3km the designated 40 minute pacer for the event sped up to run alongside Joshua and crossed the finish line in a time of 39 minutes and 27 seconds.

Joshua's mum, Lorna said it was heart-warming to see that everyone wanted to be a part of the moment with Joshua.

"(The pacer) came up and told us afterwards that he wanted to be a part of Joshua making history so he left his group and sped up to keep up with Joshua," she said.

The event meets the criteria to qualify his run as a world record but Joshua is still waiting for it to be verified and ratified.

For Joshua the enjoyment of running comes from setting himself goals and putting in the hard work to achieve them.

 

CHAMPION: Joshua Williams with his mum, Lorna.
CHAMPION: Joshua Williams with his mum, Lorna. Claudia Williams

"It is more about your mind than how fast you can actually go," he said.

"If you change your mind and you set a goal and you have the right mindset you can always make your goals.

"I used to be like 'Oh I don't want to give my everything' then I changed in my mind that I want to break this world record and I am going to make it and I have."

Over 5km Joshua is now running four minutes faster than he was in July last year but it has not come without hard work.

His mum Lorna and dad Jason are behind him every step of the way but Lorna said it had not always been easy to watch her boy push himself to the limit.

"There has been times when he struggled so much and has physically wanted to quit but mentally saying 'No, I know I don't want to, I know this is my goal' and he has never quit," she said.

"Even times we have begged him to quit we have said, 'No, stop it is too hard' and he has said 'No I will not give up.'"

Despite his achievements racing the clock Joshua is just and everyday seven-year-old; a lover of sport with too much energy.

Joshua runs to challenge himself but his favourite sport is cricket, followed by soccer.

Joshua played in the South Burnett under-12 side five times in the 2017/18 season and is working hard in the off season to make the team again next season.

"Cricket is over right now so we just go to the nets but we are still practising because we can't lose it," he said.

Before his Barambah Bears soccer training on Thursday afternoons Joshua runs 5kms on the rail trail at Wondai and before games on Saturday mornings he runs 5km as part of Wondai Parkrun.

Joshua's health is the biggest priority for Lorna and Jason.

"We are trying to be really conscientious about his growth and we don't want him to be doing too much and we want him to be able to work hard and reach his goals without over stressing his body and his growth," Lorna said.

"They have said that because of the massages and things like that that he is probably actually growing better and with less growing pains than people who don't run or do anything at all because he is using the muscles and then he is getting them really stretched and he stretches really well."

He has run under world record pace seven times in training and is aiming to do the same in a race next month.

To make it happen he will be working on his sprints in training.

"If I sprint and I get to learn how to sprint really fast and hold that sprint, I can hold that sprint for the 5km," he said.

The biggest challenge for Joshua is pacing himself during a race and sprinting helps him lift his tempo and stay on track.

"My mum and dad like to ride on their bikes down on the trail so they can pace me because I am not sure how to pace myself that well yet," he said.

Joshua is an inspiration to many and people are getting behind him and his goals.

His favourite football club Essendon has given him club jumpers to wear while he runs and his uncle gave him new shoes; the ones he wore when he broke the record.

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