He found that he had lost less speed than his contemporaries: The pack had come back to him, and even fallen behind.
Allie won city championships in high school in Pittsburgh. He wants to break the over world record for the meters, his weakest sprint event, this weekend at the masters national championships in Ames, Iowa. He said his weight has not fluctuated by more than five pounds in 25 years.
Then Usain Bolt of Jamaica rewrote the record books. From the moment he starts, he just goes away, sprinting off, as if on air. He will perform a series of intervals that are a little longer than his races. He competed in the occasional track meet in his 20s and 30s as he taught industrial arts and coached middle school sports.
Allie has been breaking one minute since he was .
Septuagenarians are not supposed to go this fast. Then there are a series of yard drills.
He also visits a Y. He runs a slow mile to warm up. In that division, he ran faster than just about everyone except his good friend Bill Collins, who was a top American runner in the mids.
Allie is blessed with incredibly fast legs and a body that ages at a frighteningly slow rate. Allie also coaches at Nadia, a track club in Pittsburgh.
They call him Coach Buddy. He had eaten oatmeal and fruit for breakfast. Now Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya is within 99 seconds of the mark. Breaking two hours for the marathon was long considered impossible.
He is always training, but a little harder now. He is rarely sick and has not had a major injury. Raising the knees high during one, making sure to whack his backside with his heel on every step during another.
After that he takes a seat on the infield turf and laces up his track spikes. Still not impressed? They travel to Philadelphia to watch him compete in the Penn Relays. He attended Hampton University in Virginia, where he was a couple of clicks below national and world class.
Bolt, for instance, has the records in the and the Michael Johnson held the record for the and Bolt was there, too, collecting the award for the senior athlete of the year. Chances are, he is a much faster runner than you are — faster, in fact, than you ever were.
He said working with children, some as young as 6, helped keep him young. Since he is focused on thehe decided on a recent morning to do meter sprints. The spikes, which weigh just a few ounces, are for his sprint intervals. Collins, his teammate and sometime competitor, said there are few people who can carry their speed through an entire race the way Allie does.
They are black Nikes, top of the line. Last year he ran It is nearly impossible for someone at any age to hold the world records for theand simultaneously. Preparing for a meter race, he will repeat or meter intervals. Some have held two of the three. He strained his Achilles' tendon in Right now, he said, he is dealing with achiness in his hip.
Now, he beats his competitors — the other fastest men in the world who are his age — by 30 or 40 meters. That is a good thing because none of this comes cheap.
At 71, he wants the world record in meters to go along with his age group records in the and By Matthew Futterman. Supported by.
Last year in Spain he broke his own world record in his age group for the meters by more than a second. For thethe distance is or meters. That is essentially a quarter-mile, one lap around a standard running track. Age has slowed Charles Allie, but only slightly.
He set the world record in the meters for the over group last year, too. At the World Masters Athletics Championships, he dropped down an age division and won two relay gold medals with the year-olds. Track and field is a sport of outliers. Running next to Allie can be a humbling experience.
Then he turned 40 and began masters competition. He crossed the tape in Plenty of people, even when they are at their fastest, never come close to running meters in less than a minute.
Allie eats healthfully and has run in the Penn Relays every year since he was If he has two hard workouts in a row, he will take a day off. Masters runners, even the best in the world, pay their own way, though U.
They are given uniforms and other swag now, too. If he misses a workout in the morning, he laces up his spikes and runs with them.