Charles Allie annihilates M70 WR over 200 with sub-26 at Des Moines nationals

Results of Des Moines masters exhibition neglect to note a stunning M70 world record.Results of Des Moines masters exhibition neglect to note a stunning M70 world record.

Hall of Famer and former WMA Athlete of the Year Charles Allie pulled a Usain Bolt at Des Moines USA open nationals Thursday, running away with a “mixed masters” 200 exhibition in a spectacular 25.75 seconds. That made him, at 70, the oldest human to go sub-26 in the deuce. He crushed the listed M70 world record of 26.47 by Britain’s Glyn Sutton at 2015 Lyon worlds. On the Age-Graded Tables, his mark is equivalent to an open (20-30) time of 19.68. (Methinks it should be 19.08.)

(Charlie ran a 26.45 indoor WR this past winter, so he improved the any-conditions record as well.)

Charlie, a Pittsburgh resident who runs with Houston Elite, won’t complain about racing on a Thursday — the first time since masters exhibitions began in 2000 that our races at open nationals weren’t contested on a Saturday or Sunday. But I will.

I don’t know who slotted the races (originally men’s 70-plus and women’s over-60 events) on a day with few in the stands. I won’t blame Joy Upshaw, our national masters exhibitions chair. Perhaps she faced a take-it-or-leave-it ultimatum.

But I’m peeved at the dismissive way the race was called and posted. At 9:15 p.m. Pacific – about seven hours after the race — results weren’t online on But I was sent a picture of apparently a paper printout, confirming Charlie ran with a legal 1.7 mps wind (out of Lane 5).

The British announcer — reading off bio sheets but having no clue about masters track — apparently was Tim Hutchings. Social media comments were ruthless.

Sarah Lawson, a W55 star long sprinter herself, wrote on Facebook: “Was anyone watching the M70 exhibition 200? The commentary was ridiculous! After Charlie finished in 25-ish secs, the commentator was like: ‘Wow! I wonder how often he trains? Do you think he trains everyday for track and field?’ It would be great if he had one clue about the worldwide sport of masters track and field, and the fact that there are incredible performances every year by super-committed athletes. Annoying.”

Don’t get me started on NBC Sports Gold, which charges you to watch a webcast of a track meet that needs every eyeball it can get.

USATF’s summary of the day relegated the WR to the end of a long press release.

Masters have made much progress on the exhibition circuit, but Thursday’s two-woman turnout was papered over by adding them to the men’s race at the last minute and the terrible announcing added insult. Mt. SAC Relays also saw a pair of two-women races.

This has to stop, or we’ll lose the showcases forever.

Meanwhile, Charlie’s race for the ages:

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About the Author

Ken Stone
Ken has followed track as an athlete, writer and webmaster since the late 1960s, and saw most sessions of track and field at the 1984 Los Angeles and 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He also attended the 1988, 1992, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Trials. He worked for 10 newspapers and now reports for Times of San Diego. Write him at or Story tips always welcome!

7 Comments on "Charles Allie annihilates M70 WR over 200 with sub-26 at Des Moines nationals"

  1. Kathy Bergen | June 22, 2018 at 3:44 am | Reply

    It was wonderful to watch that race but the announcing was among the worst I have ever heard.

  2. I’ve been informed that Linda Carty has taken over from Joy Upshaw as masters exhibition events coordinator. I’m seeking details. Stay tuned.

  3. Incredible performance.

  4. Incredible!
    1988 age: 40 PR
    Age 45-49 PR
    400 51.67 (1994) 51.71 (1995)-47
    Age 50-54 PR
    52.58 (month shy of 54)
    Age 55-59 PR
    52.24 World record
    Age 60-64 PRs
    54.29 age 61 second best ever
    Age 65-69 PR
    Age 69
    200M 25.54
    400M 58.48
    Age 70
    200M 25.75 WR
    400M 59.43 WR so far this year, probably lower it 1/2 second.

  5. Martha Green | June 22, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Reply

    Also no mention of Dave Swarts competing in the open race walk last night. 1:54:43:71 for a 20K.

  6. Well Ken if the rumor is true I hope it isn’t the same as happened in 2009 with Joy’s resignation as meet director for the National Senior Games track and field meet. Which appeared to be her underestimate of time and responsibility.

  7. Alan Kolling | July 3, 2018 at 9:40 am | Reply

    Next year’s Senior Outdoors are scheduled for the same dates as the Masters Outdoors, about thirty miles apart. So there may be no masters exhibition events in Des Moines by default.

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