In the modest surroundings of the Brockport Golden Eagle Multi & Invitational at SUNY Brockport on Saturday (30th January), American Jenn Suhr added a centimetre to her indoor pole vault world record to send the small crowd in to raptures. It's not the first unusual setting to see records fall. Here are six more unlikely venues to witness athletics history.

1. Knarvik, Norway

Oslo has played host to countless world records, but it was the small village of Knarvik (population around 5000) on Norway’s coast – more than 450 miles west of the capital – that became the much less likely venue for a pair of 5000m world records in September 1981.

Legendary Kenyan distance runner Henry Rono – who set four world records in 81 days in 1978 – chipped 2.2 seconds from his three-year-old 5k best to stop the clock at 13:06.20. Rono, who had a much-publicised battle with alcoholism, allegedly recorded his mark after a night of heavy drinking.

The spectators squeezed into the tiny stadium witnessed more history that night as Great Britain’s Paula Fudge set the first official IAAF women’s 5000m record, recording a time of 15:14.51. The women’s record for the distance currently stands at 14:11.15 and was set by Tirunesh Dibaba in 2008, again in Norway, but this time in Oslo.

2. San Juan, Puerto Rico

In 1989 the Sixto Escobar Stadium became the unlikely setting for the very first 8ft high jump clearance. The compact stadium, which was built in 1936 and hosted many events at the 1979 PanAm Games, was named after Puerto Rico's first world champion boxer. It was another Caribbean sporting wizard who would make the place famous in athletics circles.

In July 1989 Cuba’s Javier Sotomayor notched his second high jump world record with a stunning 2.44m. Clearing the landmark imperial height also gifted him gold at the Central & Caribbean Championships. It added a centimetre to the 2.43m he posted at the Budapest World Indoor Championships four months earlier.

Sotomayor went on to hit 2.45m in Salamanca, Spain, in ‘93 – the only time anyone has beaten the Puerto Rico mark, which remains as the second best clearance of all time.

3. Honolulu, Hawaii

Better known for surf, hula dance and bad Elvis movies, the Pacific island state has also witnessed a world record in athletics. On 21st February 1976 at the University of Hawaii’s Cooke Field (two words: RAINBOW TRACK), American Terry Albritton, then 21, launched the shot put out to 21.85m to add three centimetres to Al Feuerbach’s world record.

The record lasted a little under four months but history had been made. Described as a “creative, different-thinking type of guy” by friend and 1976 Olympic discus champ Mac Wilkins, the mercurial Albritton went on to work as a strength coach at the University of Hawaii before his sudden death aged 50 in Cambodia in 2005.

4. Pietersburg, South Africa

It says something for the randomness of this world record venue that the city no longer exists. Before it was renamed Polokwane in 2005, Jan Zelezny re-wrote the record books in April 1993 by hurling the javelin a mighty 95.54m. It added more than four metres to GB's Steve Backley’s previous world record.

The Czech great won three Olympic titles (1992, 1996, 2000); his record in Pietersburg was the first of three he set during a glittering career. His best was a 98.48m in Jena, Germany and still stands as the world record, while his throw in old Pietersburg remains the third longest in history. Interestingly, 2009 world 800m champion Caster Semenya was born close to Polokwane in the village of Ga-Masehlong.

5. Adelaide, Australia

As the fifth largest city in Australia with a population nudging 1.5m, Adelaide might not be seen as the strangest location for an athletics world record. But the devil is in the detail and Adelaide – located in one of the hottest, driest countries on the planet – has seen three world indoor records.

They were set at the Mile End Netball Stadium by former circus trapeze artist Emma George, who vaulted 4.47m on 7th March 1998, and 4.50m and 4.55m some 19 days later. In what were fledgling days for the women’s pole vault, pioneering George achieved a total of 16 world record marks. Which is more than you.

6. US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs

Maybe it was the proximity of high-speed fighter jets that got the sprinters in the mood on a balmy July in 1983. Or maybe it was just the strange way that history happens.

The high-altitude (around 2200m) base is located around 50 miles south of Denver and was treated to two world records in the space of 15 exhilarating minutes. First to do the business at the National Sports Festival was Evelyn Ashford, who broke the tape in 10.79 to trim 0.02 from the women’s 100m world record. Then Calvin Smith repeated the feat by taking 0.02 from Jim Hines’ men’s record of 9.95 set at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

It was the first time in history that two world 100m records had fallen on the same day.