39-year-old distance runner named USATF Athlete of the Week

Bernard of Tucson should embrace the masters tag.

USATF honored a masters athlete this week. At 39, Bernard Lagat set an American indoor record in 2K — and was named Athlete of the Week. While some may object to his being called a masters athlete, face it: He’s older than 35. That makes him a master. Yes, he’s open-elite class as well. But why not celebrate age? “Lagat … had previously run the event just once indoors and twice outdoors before attempting to overtake Steve Scott’s 4:58.6 mark set in 1981. Lagat’s time of 4:54.7 not only broke Scott’s record, but it also served as an encore to his two-mile American indoor record set at the Armory in 2013,” USATF said. Bernard, who will run the 3K this weekend at USA nationals, added: “When you go after something, sometimes you want to believe you can do it, but you never know until the race ends. It was a really big honor and a special night for me. I knew what I had to do. I ran, and I didn’t want to disappoint as I went for the record.” Stay strong, BL. M40 records are yours for the taking starting Dec. 12, 2014.

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February 20, 2014

4 Responses

  1. Rick Easley - February 20, 2014

    Bernard is in a masters age group. We should not discriminate because he happens to be elite. We should celebrate that a human being can still perform at such a high level at his advanced age. It should be a motivation to us all.

  2. Joseph Burleson - February 20, 2014

    I recall the 27 year-old Dr. Delano Meriwether almost winning the 1971 Los Angeles Times Indoor meet sprint, and the media going bonkers about the ancient sprinter/physician. We all thought that he was a complete freak of nature to be a world-class sprinter at such an advanced age. Little did we know!

  3. Matt B. - February 20, 2014

    Next year he will rewrite the record books, I would think a 3:37 1500, 3:54 mile is easily in reach. 3K and 5K records will be lowered significantly 7:33 or better and probably sub 13:10. He probably doesn’t care too much about running an 800 but if he did he could run a 1:46 in practice.

    Also rooting for a 9.96 by a 38 year old Kim Collins this season in the 100.
    He has a solid indoor season going so far- hope to see him perform well at World indoors.

  4. BMo - February 24, 2014

    Truly amazing. Just a total stud!

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