70-Year-Old Freak Of Nature Sets World Age Group Record For Marathon With Wild Pace


A 70-year-old retired computer programmer by the name of Gene Dykes made me feel even shittier about getting gassed from walking up a flight of stairs after he set a world record for his age group in the marathon on December 15 in Jacksonville, Florida.

According to Runner’s World, Dykes ran 2:54:23, breaking the previous record of 2:54:48 set by then 73-year-old Canadian runner Ed Whitlock by 25 seconds. Whitlock had held the world record for fourteen years, and still held the record when he died last year at the age of 86.

Dykes, a Philadelphia native, ran a mind-bending 6:39 pace for the 26.2 miles.


To make his feat even more incredible, Dykes has been banging out marathons like nothing.

In October, he ran the Toronto Marathon in 2:55:17 to come within 30 seconds of the age-group record. Then just two weeks ago, he ran an ultra in San Francisco, the Vista Verde Skyline 50K (31 miles) with his daughter on 1st December, and the California International Marathon on 2nd December. It’s a highly unusual racing schedule for an elite athlete.

“I’ve often said that my ability to recover is my super power,” he said in the days leading up to his Jacksonville attempt. [via]

To celebrate his achievement, the 70-year-old went out to dinner with his buddies and pounded some fine cabernet sauvignon before going home to play some golf in the suburbs of Philly.

“The golf,” he said, “will be much less successful.”

[h/t Runners World]