Roy Englert of Springfield, Virginia, continues to break records in the running world. At 96 years old, he currently holds the world records for the 95 to 99 age group in the 800 meters, 1500 meters, and 3,000 meters (still pending approval), which he ran consecutively in March. He is also a member of the world record 4×100, 4×400 and 4×800 relay teams.
At the USATF Masters Outdoor Championships in Ames, Iowa, on July 11, Englert added another world record to his collection: He ran 42:30.23 in the 5,000 meters, unofficially breaking the previous age group record of 50:10.56 held by Frank Levine by almost eight minutes. (Englert’s record is still pending approval by USATF.)
Since he doesn’t have much competition in his age group—there were no other runners in his age category in the 5,000 meter race—he often ends up just racing the clock.
But Englert doesn’t seem to mind running alone.
“It’s fun. It’s not fun while you’re doing it, but it’s fun when you’re finished, ” he told Run Washington. “It’s hard work, actually.”
According to his National Senior Games Association profile, Englert runs about two to three miles a day, mostly on a treadmill a half block from where he lives in the Lake Ridge Retirement Living Community. When it gets closer to race day, he will up his daily mileage to three or four miles, and also incorporate speedwork on an indoor track.
Though many people have labeled Englert as an inspiration, he waves off their compliments. “I don’t consider myself that much of an inspiration. I’m a slow runner,” he said in the profile. “But I guess I’ve outlasted almost everybody. It gets easier to win when there’s not as much competition around.”
While the elder track star is certainly blessed with good genes and a determined attitude, he told Run Washington that all runners can keep lacing up their shoes—and even hitting personal best times for their age—as long as they keep at it.
“My only advice to them is just keep doing it. Keep moving. Keep doing it,” he told the paper.