January 30, 2018
Murgon youngster Joshua Williams has his eyes set on a world running record … and a baggy green cap.
Joshua, 7, is within grasp of breaking the world record in the 5km road race category for seven-year-old boys.
But his real dream – and passion – is to one day captain the Australian cricket team.
Joshua plays U13s junior cricket for Murgon (and has twice been picked in the U12s side for South Burnett), as well as U8s soccer for the Barambah Bears.
There’s no doubt that Joshua is quick on his feet and a keen sportsman.
But he now has five months left before he turns eight to find a sanctioned race so he can have a go at his record bid.
The current world record is held by a young runner in the United States and stands at 19:01.
Joshua recently ran a time of 19:58 at the Wondai parkrun but has clocked up an amazing – and unofficial – 18:48 in training.
“Joshua won some sprints at school in Grade 1 so we always knew he was a fast sprinter but we didn’t know he had the distance,” mum Lorna told southburnett.com.au
“I had been running the parkrun and he wanted to come along. I said 5km would be too much for his tiny legs but he insisted.
“He kept on running ahead of me and then running back, and then beat me home by four minutes!”
Dad Jason started coaching Joshua when the family realised he was running near-record times.
But both Lorna and Jason are quick to point out Joshua can quit running at any time he likes.
“When he broke the record unofficially we said to him, you can stop now, you’ve done it! But he wanted to continue to try to officially break the world record,” Jason said.
Joshua admits he doesn’t actually like running very much – he finds it boring – but he has made up his mind to try for the record.
His parents are very proud of his determination.
“It doesn’t really matter if he breaks the record or not,” Jason said. “He’s setting a goal and trying to achieve it.
“He has the determination and discipline to try to do it. It shows he will have the determination and singlemindedness to put into whatever he does in the future.”
Joshua could well be on his way to a professional career in sport. He already has a sponsor, Brad Wauer from The Running Company on the Sunshine Coast who is providing him with running shoes, and the Essendon AFL club has given him a guernsey to run in.
His record bid has now become a family affair, with his dad training him, his mum running with him at Wondai and sister Elliana, 5, coming along to cheer him on.
The family are big fans of the South Burnett Rail Trail and use it nearly every day, and as Lorna admitted, “sometimes twice a day”.
Jason believes Joshua just has to learn to pace himself while running and the record will fall before Joshua turns eight.
“When he broke the record (unofficially) here in Murgon he didn’t even break a sweat. He hasn’t even learnt yet how to get the most out of his body,” he said.
Footnote: Sport is only one of Joshua’s talents … he’s also fluent in Spanish and plays the guitar and piano!