Don’t judge a man’s speed by his age.
On July 9 at Olympian High School in Chula Vista, Calif., 48-year-old Brad Barton became the oldest man to run a sub-4:20 mile. The father of five and keynote speaker from Utah ran a 4:17.54 mile, just 1.45 seconds short of 46-year-old Tony Young’s 2008 age-group world record of 4:16.09. According to the Times of San Diego, Barton’s original goal was to run a 4:12 mile to beat an unofficial time of 4:13.25 set by Young in 2009.
“I knew I was going to be close, so I did everything I could to the finish,” Barton told the Times of San Diego. “And from there I don’t really remember a lot.”
Barton had expelled so much energy and speed in the last leg of the mile that he could barely stand up shortly after crossing the finish line. He even appears “blacked out” in his attempts to pick himself up multiple times towards the end of this race clip.
Just nine days after this great feat, Barton competed in the USATF Masters Championships in Winston-Salem, N.C.. This time he ran the 1,500 meters in 4:00.32, only 4 seconds shy of the 3:56.39 age-group record set by 45-year-old John Hinton. Although Barton didn’t break any records that day, he still remains the oldest man to have run a mile as fast as he did. If Barton had run a sub-4 minute metric mile (1,500 meters), he would have been the first man his age to do so with only 10 men over 45 that have broken the 4 minute barrier.
Nicely done, sir.