Swindon Harriers runner Simon Byrne shattered his personal best time to become the number one ranked 5,000-metre runner in the South West.

Taking part in the Podium 5k at Battersea Park in London this weekend, Byrne eviscerated his previous personal best that he set last year by 21 seconds, running the race in 14 minutes and four seconds to come home in fifth place at the event.

Byrne was the fastest of the four Harriers runners who ran the Podium 5k in under 15 minutes, including junior Harry Woods with a personal best time of 14.47, Ben Lines with 14.57, and Ben Cole came home in eighth place with a time of 14:10.

Byrne said: “It was so fast and hard from the start that I knew I was on for a quick time.

“I felt pretty good for most of the race and in the last kilometre, I was eyeing the competition to see who I could get ahead of.

“Ben ran very aggressively and that really helped me and others to get a fast time so hats off to him.

“To run such a big PB is massive and I will treasure that moment for a long time to come.

“It is definitely one of my finest moments as a runner. I don’t think I’ve stopped smiling since then!”

Byrne added that he was now switching his attention back to the English ‘National’ Cross County Championships on February 24 but he also has in his sights this summer breaking 14 minutes over 5k for the first time.

He said: “The dream is a sub 14 time and I’m getting pretty close now.

“Of course, the faster you get the more difficult it becomes but it definitely feels like it is do-able. I just need to stay fit and focused.”