Rich Burns incinerates 33-year-old world record in the M55 mile

Rich Burns

Competing with some of the best masters milers in America, M55 Rich Burns took fifth last night at the Portland Track Festival at Lewis & Clark College. But fifth is no shame when you smash a world record. According to results posted by event coordinator Dave Clingan, Rich ran 4:36.94 to beat one of the oldest age-group world records on the books: 4:40.4 by Australia’s Jack Ryan in 1977. He also beat the listed American M55 record of 4:42.7 by Nolan Shaheed at this race in 2007. The masters mile was won by Jim Sorensen, 43, whose time of 4:18.32 was 6 seconds ahead of runner-up Jonathan Swanson, 38. Earlier yesterday at the IAAF Diamond League meet in New York, America’s Bernard Lagat destroyed the listed M35 American record for 1500 meters, clocking 3:34.36. Bernard bested the 1991 mark of 3:40.83 by Steve Scott. Results of the masters women’s 3000 at Portland will be posted soon. Here’s video of the masters mile:

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June 13, 2010

16 Responses

  1. al cestero - June 13, 2010

    fantastic effort rich…way to represent the M55 ‘s congratulations !

  2. Andy DiConti - June 13, 2010

    This couldn’t have happened to a better guy! Rich, you never cease to amaze me. This is your year-4 records! What’s next? Keep it up and keep us inspired!!

  3. My Own Private Idaho - June 13, 2010

    So where are the freaking results?

  4. NOLAN SHAHEED - June 13, 2010

    Congratulations Rich. Fantastic job. I hope you will now start getting the respect you’ve deserved all along.

  5. Ken Stone - June 13, 2010

    Video is up for men’s and women’s masters races at Portland Track Festival:

  6. Joanna - June 13, 2010

    Meet results are here.

    Go to the Saturday evening middle distance results to find the master’s races.

  7. Mellow Johnny - June 13, 2010

    All results can be found at

    Looks like some great races. Unfortunately, this was scheduled at the same time as the NCAA meet in Eugene and picked being a fan instead yesterday. Glad I did as the Oregon boys went 1-2-3 in the 1500 in one of the greatest races I’ve ever seen.

    Will be in Portland at the Portland Masters Classic next Saturday, though.

  8. peter taylor - June 13, 2010

    Am I dreaming or did Sabra Harvey just break the American W60 record of 11:52.22 by 41 seconds, running 11:11.49? That would be somewhat better than sensational. I just woke up; am I right or am I actually still asleep?

  9. Andrew Hecker - June 13, 2010

    To P.T., that and less than 5 seconds off the WR.

  10. Horace Grant - June 14, 2010

    Congrats on a great race Rich! I would enjoy seeing a video of your record performance.

  11. Ken Stone - June 14, 2010

    Video of M55 WR is here:

  12. Ken Stone - June 15, 2010

    Pete Magill, whose blog is sorely missed, posted this note on the message board:

    Rich is about the best example there is of why we stick with this sport even during the down times. Just a year ago, Rich was struggling with an injury that had forced him to take 5 months off completely, then only jog in place for awhile after that. But Rich never gave up. Never felt sorry for himself. Just lived his life and waited for his body to do right by him. Which it eventually did. And wow – Rich’s fourth American age group record this spring/summer … and he saved the best for last by adding the “world record” designation to this great mile performance. Congrats, Rich!!!

    FYI, I’m past my own knee injury. 100% rehabilitated. Still have 10 pounds to lose and some conditioning work to do. But I’m well on my way back to top fitness by the fall.

    Hope everyone has a terrific week of life and training!

  13. Simon Martin - June 15, 2010

    I thought we over-55 miler wannabees were safe from more embarrassment when Nolan moved up a category…never mind, congrats Rich on a truly sensational run!

    And thanks all for the extra details. Inspiring. Also educational to re-learn that time off is never really a bad thing!

  14. Doug Thompson - June 15, 2010


    Congratulations! It’s really satisfying to see you doing so well this year! Are you planning to be in AZ any time soon? Give me a call.


  15. Keith Bateman - June 16, 2010

    Excellent job Rich! Great to see!
    I am 12 days away from my 55th birthday and we have a 1 mile race here in Australia on 31st July – a once-yearly chance at the record. Injured just now but I hope i’ll be back in top form soon and will try to rattle your record – good luck for the rest of the season – i’ll be keeping a close eye on developments and it would be good to hear from you about your fine efforts. It would be great if we can push each other to greater things 🙂 Go the baby-boomers! 🙂

  16. jims - June 19, 2010

    Great race and season Rich.
    Since the M35 was mentioned in the lead. Steve Scotts mark of 3:40 is the listed record, but he had a 3:39 and a 3:37 performance at age 35+. Dont know the tenths without looking it up. Lagats 3:34 still under these marks…..

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