Earl ‘The Great’ Fee steals thunder from Torun worlds with M90 WRs at 400, 800 in Iowa

Earl Fee is an author, poet, training expert and for the umpteenth time a world-record setter.

We interrupt Torun coverage (elsewhere) to bring you this important announcement: Earl Fee is back! In the record books.

A day after turning 90, The Great One set two M90 indoor world records at a meet in Grinnell, Iowa. Five years ago, the Canadian legend set an M85 indoor 800 WR at Budapest worlds. So this was no surprise. But why isn’t he in Poland? He says he missed the entry deadline.

At a USATF Iowa meet over the weekend, he burned a 400 in 1:30.76, obliterating the listed WR of M 90 1:46.78 by barrel-chested Ugo Sansonetti of Italy at 2010 Kamploops worlds. And he scorched the 800 in 3:42.52 to crush the 4-minute barrier and take down the listed WR of 4:16.83 by Italy’s Antonio Nacca at 2014 Ancona worlds. (See results here.) The outdoor WRs for 400 and 800? 1:29.35 and 3:39.07 — well within reach.

I learned of the marks via a story in Canada’s Running Magazine, which said in part: “There must be something in the water in Elstow, Sask., where Earl Fee was born (he was raised in Toronto, where he still lives). The 90-year-old demolished not one but two world masters’ track records on the weekend at the USATF Iowa Open/Masters Championships and All Comers Meet in Grinnell, Iowa. (Another track phenom, Olga Kotelko, was raised not far from Elstow. Kotelko died in 2014 at age 95 with 34 world records to her name.)”

Then on Monday, Earl himself posted on Facebook:


If a golfer has 2 “Eagles” (one shot holes) in one day, it would be impossible to keep this info from his friends –similarly in running:

This past Saturday March 23 at Grinnell, Iowa USA at a good masters/open meet and at a great indoor athletics facility: Grinnell College– I was fortunate to break 2 age group 90-94 indoor world records 1 day after my 90th birthday–breaking the 800m record by 33 seconds in 3:42.52 and the 400m record by 17 seconds in 1:30.76. In both cases about 2 sec. slower than my training pace.

In both cases, I went out way too fast in the first lap. Adrenaline can do this, but also trying to keep up with much younger master runners as here in Grinnell– I have found from past experience. In my 800m race : my first lap was 6 seconds faster than my usual training pace. In my 400m race: the split of my 1st 200m felt like about 40 sec., starting in lane 6, and 50 sec. for the last lap. Consequently, I felt like I was jogging in the last lap resulting in one of my hardest races ever, and felt that the overall pace would be slow, but was happily surprised by the overall time.

Based on the Masters Age Graded Calculator my age grading for the above events are: 105.95% for the 800m, and 109.07% 400m. these are the highest I have ever achieved. This gives some encouragement for the future, as I intend to keep on going and going.

Fortunately, at this meet I had no physical problems such as my frequently recurring hamstring, but at the Comfort Inn where I stayed for 2 nights it was way too cold for comfort. In fact, actually over 5 degrees C cooler than my usual winter indoor temperature at home, resulting in some chills– thinking I might come down with something.

The end result makes up for my missed deadline for the WMA indoor meet at Torun Poland.

Hoping to catch up with a few WRs in Poland. But for now, let’s savor Earl’s fetes. He’ll be a possible front-runner for WMA Athlete of the Year if he moseys over to Toronto for the WMA regional outdoor meet this summer.

And set your alarms for late March 2024. Expect a raft of M95 records to fall.

A huge congratulations to our good friend Masters Athlete Earl Fee on his two world record performances. Well done Earl!! ・・・ . #medalmonday – Congratulations to M90 Canadian ?? Athlete Earl Fee on achieving two WMA record performances in the 400m and the 800m at the USATF Iowa Open Masters Championships and All Comers Meet on March 24, 2019. . . . . Earl ran the 400m in 1:30.76 breaking the previous world master’s record of 1:46.78, set by Ugo Sansonetti. . . Earl’s 800m time of 3:42.5 broke the previous M90 WMA record time of 4:16.83 set by Antonio Nacca. . Fantastic running by the tenacious and always inspiring Earl Fee who has more than 56 Canadian and World Records in his name! . . #mastersathlete #indoortrackandfield #wmarecords #worldmastersathletics #canadianrecord #canadianmastersathletics #worldrecord #trackie #tracknation #400meters #800m #runitfast #inspiringrunners @canadianrunning @athleticscanada @athleticsont @usatfmasterstrack @ontariorunners

A post shared by UTTC MASTERS (@torontotrackuttcmasters) on

Contribute to support independent track and field journalism:

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 TrackCEO@aol.com or kens@timesofandiego.com. Story tips always welcome!

1 Comment on "Earl ‘The Great’ Fee steals thunder from Torun worlds with M90 WRs at 400, 800 in Iowa"

  1. I like the way “The Great Earl” takes down world marks by huge margins rather than a few hundredths or perhaps a tenth or two. In doing so he puts a real stamp on the new records — these are times that were achieved by someone who has taken a special approach based on science and experience, and here are your results. I am very proud of you, Great Earl. As I recall, you ran 2:14.33 in the 800 at Buffalo Worlds in 1995 (among your other gold-medal achievements at that championship), and I was tremendously impressed.

    You were 66 at that time, Earl, and I actually thought you were old. Now it’s 24 years later, and you are still “the man.”

    Congratulations, Earl.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.