Results are posted for Sunday’s events at the 44th Annual Potomac Valley Games at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia. There a team called Unattached ‘A’ clocked 4:01.03 in the 4×400 relay. But it was a startling mark — a pending world record — with four men over 65 averaging just over 60 seconds each. They included a 59.5 by M70 world record-holder Charles Allie, 72. Leadoff in 59.8 was David Ortman of Seattle, followed by Pittsburgh’s Charlie; Thomas A. Jones, 65, of Glenn Dale, Maryland, in 61.2 and George Haywood, 66, of Washington, D.C., in about 60.5. Amazing.
The listed M65 WR is 4:02.62 by Col Buyers, Heinz Steinmann, Tony Ireland and Neville McIntyre of Australia at an Adelaide meet in 2009 — which took 6.4 seconds off the existing record by a German team. (The team of Klaus, Scheid, Busss and Guido Müller ran 4:09.08 in 2005.) Dave, Charles, George and Howard Clark had set the American M65 record of 4:04.78 at Malaga worlds in 2018.
So the race for the first sub-4 relay post-65 is on. The next opportunity is at the European Masters Athletics Championships — a WMA regional like Toronto — starting Thursday in Venice, Italy. The 4x4s are Sept. 15.
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Congratulations to all of these fine gentlemen for running so beautifully. I will give special praise to David Ortman for flying across the country (from Seattle) to take part in the foursome’s quest to establish a world standard. Every member of the team stood up successfully to the pressure of such a record attempt.
This is phenomenal! Congratulations to these fabulous four. To think sub 4 minutes at 65+ is not only possible but within a hair’s breadth is truly amazing.