Northern Ireland news

Running sensation Emer McKee (12) smashes her own world record

Emer McKee raced alongside former Olympian Tommy Hughes. Picture by Catherine McKee

YOUNG running sensation Emer McKee skipped the return of her home parkrun on Saturday to rest ahead of smashing her own world record.

The 12-year-old ran 5k in an astonishing 16:27 on Sunday at the former Maze prison site, even finishing ahead of a former Olympian.

Emer only started running three years ago with her family at parkrun.

The weekly 5k events resumed on Saturday having last been held in March last year.

Regular runners and volunteers at Stormont estate were keen to see the return of `their' record-breaker.

However, her mother Catherine said she was resting ahead of the 5k race the next day, which was part of the Lisburn Festival of Running.

A pupil at Our Lady and St Patrick's College in Belfast, Emer ran the distance in an unbelievable 16:27 - 13 seconds faster than her own best time for a 12-year-old girl.

She placed seventh overall, five seconds ahead of Barcelona Olympics veteran Tommy Hughes.

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Northern Ireland news