M70 Charles Allie, named USATF Athlete of the Week on Wednesday, is well-positioned to win his second WMA Athlete of the Year honor. (He also won five years ago.) One Speed’s world record 57.26 in the 400 in the Malaga prelims qualifies him. If he becomes the North and Central America and Caribbean nominee, Charlie has a chance to match Bob Lida (WMA AOY for 2017 and 2012).
All-time sprint and hurdles great Guido Mueller of Germany won male WMA honors in 2004, 2009 and 2014. (Detect a pattern?)
So USATF did the right thing by recognizing Charles for AOW and also saluting W60 thrower Carol Finsrud, W80 Rose Green and W65 runner Sabra Harvey.(An earlier version of this story saying Linda Cohn set a W65 WR in the javelin was incorrect. She’s thrown farther several times this season, topped by a 37.32 in April.)
Anyhoo, let’s savor Charlie’s 57.26 (which comes in a season that includes outdoor WRs in the 100 and 200 and indoor WRs in the 200, 400 and 4X4).
On the Age-Graded Tables, 57.26 is rated as good as an open (20-30) mark of 42.72 (with the real WR being 43.03 by that South African cat). Had Charlie run in the M65 final, he would have beaten British gold medalist Steve Peters by almost 2 seconds! (Steve ran 59.09; Charlie won his final in 58.67). Charlie’s WR would have taken bronze in the M60 race and seventh in the M55 final!
Charlie’s 57.26 would have been an M65 WR as recently as 1997 and an M60 WR in 1986, according to world-record professions on Wikipedia. And also FYI: Charlie now holds three outdoor WRs in the 400 — along with M55 (52.24) and M65 (56.09).
In his local Pittsburgh paper, Charles recently said: “I keep my body in good shape. I still want to be competitive. We have guys in their 90s and 100s. I want to actually be running. Eighty sounds like a good number, but I don’t see myself competing beyond 75. I have nothing else to prove. I can go out with the next group and set world records, but I want to be competitive.”
So appreciate him while you can, folks. He’s Once-in-a-Generation.
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