Trying to catch up with the fastest 12-year-old in the world

She may only be 12, but Northern Ireland schoolgirl Emer McKee is the newest star on the athletics scene after a world record-breaking run.

UTV Sports Correspondent Ruth Gorman caught up with young athlete after her incredible feat earlier this week of completing a 5km race in under 17 minutes.

Well, she at least tried to catch up with her.

Nice try, Ruth, but Emer's set the bar pretty high. Credit: UTV

For those familiar with the Stormont estate where they had a chat, running 5k is like running from the gates right up to the top just over three times.

It was during a Championship Ireland event at Down Royal on Sunday that Emer, who is a member of the Willowfield Harriers running club in Belfast, recorded a time of 16 minutes and 40 seconds.

The previous record is believed to be 17 minutes and 16 seconds, achieved by Annabella Veltcheva in Florida in March 2017.

“I just can’t believe it, I’m just so happy and over the moon,” Emer said, adding that she had been inundated with messages of support since clocking her impressive time.

“I had known about the world record for a wee while now, so when I was running I was really hoping to beat it.”

Emer’s ambition doesn’t stop there though, so who knows, there could be another Olympian in the making.

"If I could get to the Olympics, that would be amazing," she said.