M70 Charles Allie goes sub-60! Incredible indoor WR in the 400

Taking advantage of banked turns and pushed by a twentysomething, Charles Allie finally claimed his prize Friday at the Armory Track in New York: the M70 world indoor record at 400. He apparently became the second man to go sub-60 at 70-plus after Germany’s Guido Müeller, who ran 59.48 in 2010. Charlie’s time of 59.43 is worth an open mark of 43.5 (the IAAF indoor WR is a pedestrian 44.52 by Michael Norman at the recent NCAA meet.) A RunnerSpace interview teased out some details, but could have been more focused. In any case, Charlie smiled through it — as he always does. Nice couple of laps, Sir Charles. (The outdoor WR, Guido’s 59.34, is soon to be toast.)

Charles shows patience with RunnerSpace interviewer after Friday’s 400 WR.

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March 24, 2018

33 Responses

  1. Doug Spencer - March 24, 2018

    Remarkable but not surprising, Congrats !!! One of the greatest of all time .

  2. Peter Crombie - March 24, 2018

    Charles has run a series of amazing races since turning 70

  3. Peter L. Taylor - March 24, 2018

    Right you are, Doug and Peter. When you think about Charles Allie (also known as Charlie Allie, Buddy Allie, and One-Speed), you have to consider both his high quality of performance and the breadth of his accomplishments.

    At the big meet last weekend on the flat track in Landover, Charles ran an American record 60.52 in the 400 on Friday. He came back the next day to run 8.27 and then 8.20 in the 60 (notice how close the times are).

    On Sunday, Charles ran 27.59 in the trials and 26.95 in the finals (American record) in the 200. Five days later he’s up in New York City and breaks the world mark in the 400 (see above).

    When you consider Mr. Allie’s body of work over the last 30 years it is hard to think of an American masters sprinter with a more impressive long-term resume.

  4. Weia Reinboud - March 24, 2018

    I’m in awe…

  5. James Chinn - March 24, 2018

    Congrats Charlie,
    You are incredible.

  6. Christa Bortignon - March 24, 2018

    Congratulations, Charles.

  7. Bill Kaspari - March 25, 2018

    Charles ability as an athlete is exceeded only by his personality. He is a truly classy individual.

  8. Matt B. - March 25, 2018

    Peter- 30 years indeed!
    Did my best to track his age or age group PR’s. (Please feel free to make any corrections). Likely he will break 59 this year and could go go sub 26. He has really slowed the aging process.
    1988 age: 40 PR
    Age 45-49 PR
    400 ?
    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
    20Age 69
    200M 25.54
    400M 58.48
    Age 70
    200M 26.95i
    400M 59.43i

  9. Bill Collins - March 25, 2018

    Charles Allie, The entire Houston Elite family, along with Stephanie and myself, are so very proud of you and all what you have accomplished in the past and now in 2018. You and Jackie are family,you along with Bob Lida have been great standouts for the Houston Elite Club which has been loaded with great talent like Horace Grant, George Haywood,Damon Blakemore, Bob Cozens, Rick Riddle, Wayne Bennett just to name a few. Charlie you and I have been like brothers over the years. It’s easy to say you are one of the greatest athlete’s I have ever come in contact with, along with being one of the nicest person’s anyone would ever meet, a friend to all, the best of the best, “One speed forever”.

  10. Ken brown - March 25, 2018

    What an honor and yes what fun to be able to compete against him. He brings out the best. Congratulations Charles!

  11. Lindy Raney - March 25, 2018

    Simply incredible. Congrats Charles.

  12. wayne bennett - March 25, 2018

    Congratulations Charles!! Charles has one “bad” habit. He treats all of us like we are equals, even those who are “also rans”. He forgets that he is the best and acts like he is only a mortal being when he is the “elite” of the elite. A tremendous guy. Proud to be a Houston Elite team mate.

  13. Gary Snyder - March 25, 2018

    Congratulations – thinking I’ll move to Houston?

  14. Ty Brown - March 25, 2018

    Charlie raises the bar for us all. He is a tremendous athlete, and a better person. Competing against and with him is an honor. Congratulations Charlie.

  15. Derek Pye - March 26, 2018

    Congratulations Charles!!
    You have always been amazing to watch and a joy to talk to. Keep leading the way and being a Master at Master’s track and field. Cheers!

  16. Peter L. Taylor - March 26, 2018

    Matt B. (no. 8): Thank you for your excellent reportage. You are much more scholarly than I, and thus I will be making no corrections. The key main takeaways, which are related, are as follows:

    1. Charles Allie has an almost unparalleled record for an American masters sprinter when the standard is 3 decades of excellence.

    2. Charles/Charlie has done a wonderful job of beating back the forces of aging.

  17. Weia Reinboud - March 27, 2018

    An interesting thing you say, Peter: “2. Charles/Charlie has done a wonderful job of beating back the forces of aging.” It could be that his is the true way of ageing, that our world records in older age groups are not yet evolved enough.

  18. Peter L. Taylor - March 27, 2018

    Good point, Weia. I remember (or perhaps I recall) when there was only one US athlete who had run “under his age” in the 400. Charles is 70 and runs 59+ seconds, and a ton of other athletes have performed the feat.

    More generally, Weia, a lot of the records for the older age groups, especially M/W 90 and M/W 95, need to be reduced a lot. Here in the US, Bob Lida and Irene Obera have blazed trails for the 80+ set.

  19. Matt B. - March 27, 2018

    Peter, agree 100% on 1 & 2.
    Found some 45-49 times in the 400.
    400 51.67 (1994)-46 51.71(1995)-47
    Weia, it is true there is continuous improvement in the older age groups as we get closer to our potential. Age graded calculator is one way of comparing our performances and I tend to agree after age 70 the records have a bit of a way to go to reach parity with most of the records from younger age groups. It isn’t hard to see that a 46 year old running a 1:49 800 meters might at age 70 run a 2:10 800m. Aging is relative though and you don’t have to break world age group records to show how performances are declining at or better than some world record holders.
    Two different subjects: Age group World records and decline in performance.
    Everyone can look at their own decline in performance as a percentage. In some cases it may be better than some WR holders, but just not as fast.
    David Carr is doing better than even Earl Fee and Nolan Shaheed. In 35 years his 800 has slowed less than just about anyone I can find in a 30-35 year time period.

  20. george haywood - March 27, 2018

    Congratulations Charles! You are one of the greatest ever, and a role model for all of us. Your consistent excellence is breathtaking. People should take note that the record you just broke was an awesome one, set by another of the all-time greats, Guido Mueller. Takes one to break one!!

    Honored to be your friend and teammate, and always glad that you are 5 years older than I am so that I don’t ever have to compete against you!

  21. Peter Crombie - March 27, 2018

    Steve Robbins won the 1995 400 metres World Title in Buffalo, when 52 in the then world record time of 51.63secs to be one of the youngest ever athletes to beat his age over the 400 metres.(if not the youngest to achieve this fame)

  22. Matt B. - March 27, 2018

    #21 Peter- wow, thanks for the trivia.
    I think the first to do it was Ron Taylor about 3 months shy of 53 when he ran a 51.8 on 9/22/1986.
    Last year Groger went 50.73 at age 52.
    Khalid Mulazim age 51 went 51.13 last year. Not necessarily beating his age unless it was more than 48 days after his birthday.
    I also see a David Elderfield Age 52 who ran a 51.75 in 2008 4 months shy of 53.
    I suspect we may see a high 49 from a 50 year old in a few years.

  23. Lindy Raney - March 27, 2018

    Matt-Any idea of how many have run under their age? It is one of those things that look reachable when your are in your 40s, but much tougher than it appears.

  24. Craig Simmons - March 28, 2018

    Truly astonishing human achievement. “70 under 60.” Or ‘Under 60 at 70.” It would be a cool T-shirt with a very exclusive clientele. Congratulations on an amazing achievement and all of your records. How low will he go? Can’t wait to see what Charles will do outdoors. Under 60 in the 400 is a great accomplishment at any age. That is tough to do. Under 90 seconds over age 60 is not easy.

  25. Horace Grant - March 28, 2018

    Congrats Charles! As George H. said,”honored to be your friend and teammate”. I am looking forward to the results of your outdoor season.

  26. Matt B. - March 28, 2018

    Lindy- not sure. It gets easier at certain ages. 67 at 68 for example is not as difficult as 49 at 50. I wonder who the oldest is. I imagine a 90 year old breaking 90 some day.

  27. george haywood - March 28, 2018

    I am a proud member of the “Run-your-age-in-the-400” club, along with a number of my Houston Elite teammates and many other fellow masters competitors. If you look at the metric of how far under your age you ran, Charlie’s recent accomplishment (at age 70.5) is among the greatest of all time, at approx 11.1 secs. The single greatest seems to be Guido Muller’s WR of 62.4 at age 75.5, for a gap of approx 13.1 secs. Five years from now, “”Charlie One Speed” will be taking a shot at that incredible mark but I’m sure that Guido is very safe until then.

    I tried to estimate the number of runners who are in this “run-your-age-club” and came up with a loose guess of at most a few hundred. This is lower than the number of athletes who have run a sub-4 minute mile, reportedly 855, so I feel real good about being in the RYAC. Perhaps stat guru John Seto can research this topic and give us an official number.

  28. Jeff Davison - March 28, 2018

    Another list see website

  29. Milan Tiff - March 28, 2018

    Outstanding one lap performance. Now can the Masters program please lobby the IOC and get these kind of performances in the Olympic Games. So the audience can see the true records in Track and Field, from the youngest to the oldest.

  30. Matt B. - March 28, 2018

    George, a gap of 13.1 is absolutely amazing. It is a fun way to look at it. I can’t say it is as impressive as say a 50 year old running 49.5. Even though that is just 1/2 sec it has yet to be done.
    Maybe Allen Woodard (49.09 & 49.12-age 48 2017) has an outside shot at it next year.
    Breaking your age around age 70 is probably about the best shot most would have. Breaking 60 at 60 is outstanding.
    69.5 400m age 70 = 84.89%
    59.5 400m age 60 = 88.87%
    54.5 400m age 55 = 93.94% equiv. to open 400: 45.96

    As far as the biggest gap under a particular age goes, I could see a 65 from an 80 year old being possible.(-15). Probably Charles Allie in 10 years!
    Have any women broke their age in the 400?
    Again, I suspect around age 70 would be the best opportunity.

  31. Jeff Davison - March 28, 2018

    Peter Mundle’s Single Age Records from 2006 provides a very long list of athletes running 400 under their age. Starting at age 52 through age 85.


  32. Lindy Raney - March 28, 2018

    All this 400 talk has me wanting to train hard to join that exclusive run your age club. After looking at these stats it makes Charles’ 59 at 70 look even more impressive.

  33. Don Cheek - March 28, 2018

    Great job Charles, and true to your word. When you and I rode the bus together in San Sebastian Spain you said you would retire and set 400 records. Inspiring also.I turned 88 yrs old on 3/24 and had a few medical issues BUT you have inspired me to get back out there and “lace em up”—maybe get ready for an under 90.Even if I must live with grandchildren in Houston and get Bil as my coach. Stay blessed one speed.

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