In NYC, Gary Patton pulverizes 30-year-old M70 indoor mile WR

Gary wore his USATF world meet uniform for WR.

His mile was worth an age-graded 4:00.3, but Gary Patton isn’t sweating how close he came to virtual sub-4. At last Thursday’s Armory track races in New York City, Gary at nearly 72 was the 49th of 73 male finishers when he clocked a 5:29.81 to beat the listed M70 indoor WR of 5:32.4 by American Scotty Carter in March 1987. His 200 splits: 43.145, 41.255, 42.020, 42.826 (880 at 2:49.244), 42.051, 40.164, 39.883 and 38.466. John A. Kissane of Runner’s World got the scoop, posted Tuesday night, writing: “Patton has been a top age-group runner for a decade, and he holds several American records in the middle distance events. But the indoor mile world record had been elusive— and intriguing. He first took a serious crack at it last year on the same track, but he ran 5:34.9, missing the mark by two and a half seconds.”

John continued:

As the race last week got under way, Patton settled in and felt relaxed. Perhaps he was a bit too relaxed. To set the record, he needed to cover each quarter mile in a shade over 83 seconds. But when Patton heard his half mile split time of 2:49.2, he realized he was well off pace.

“I kind of messed up the first half,” he said. “And when I saw I was almost four seconds off the pace my thought was, ‘I’m just going to sprint this sucker and see how long I can last.’”

He sped up on each of the remaining four laps to finish in his record time. His take? “Sometimes you just start flying,” he said, “and it works out.”

Patton does not run a lot of miles. But he is adamant about supplementing his running with a full complement of strength work and cross training. Each of the past few years he has tacked a bit more onto the schedule.

“This year I’ve added a morning session of a lot of squats, push-ups and burpees, and a lot of stretching,” he said. “I spend 30 to 40 minutes every morning doing those. And I’m on a three-day rotation with my afternoon workouts—one day of running, one day of weight training, and one day of cross training.”

Gary already holds the outdoor mile American record of 5:35.03, but he’ll have to work to catch the listed M70 outdoor mile WR of 5:19.75 by Holland’s Joop Rüter in 2003.

But mega-kudos to Gary. Keep up the pace all the way to Malaga worlds.

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December 12, 2017

10 Responses

  1. Jeff Davison - December 13, 2017

    Well done Gary

  2. Duncan Greenshields - December 13, 2017

    Wow! Incredible performance, especially given his 1/2 mile split. Super run … super guy!

  3. Curtis Morgan - December 13, 2017

    When I asked for it, Gary gave me his “secret sauce” earlier this year. “I don’t run all that much,” he told me during the Indoor Championships in Albuquerque. “Only about 15 miles a week.” All I can say is, Wow! Personally, I don’t think I run 15 miles a YEAR.

  4. Jeff Davison - December 13, 2017

    Hall of Fame 2017 includes Gary.
    https://www.usatf.org/HallOfFame/Masters/

  5. Randy Harris - December 14, 2017

    Congrats Gary. Very impressive.

  6. Ken Ogden - December 14, 2017

    Way to go, Gary. See you at Landover.

  7. Ken Stone - December 14, 2017

    Linda Cohn and Gary Patton set world records — and an eighth-grader wins a cross country race for USATF Athlete of the Week.

    Oh well.

    At least Linda and Gary’s marks are notable:
    http://www.usatf.org/News/Erik-Le-Roux-s-USATF-Junior-Olympics-win-earns-him.aspx

  8. Sherwood Sagedahl - December 15, 2017

    Gary, congratulations to a great competitor who has a great work ethic!

  9. Gary Patton - December 15, 2017

    Thanks, Sherwood. You’re an inspiration to me, as a world record holder yourself.

  10. Matt B. - December 17, 2017

    Even if Gary runs 6 seconds slower than Joop’s record , it will surpass the AG mark.
    Age 70 5:19.75 = 95.11%
    Age 72 (May 2018) 5:25.75 = 95.78% equiv. 3:52.4 open.

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