PROFILE--Roy Englert, Sr, recently set an age 95-99 world record in the 5000

Competing in this year's National Masters
(July 2019) Roy Englert, Sr, 96, shattered the 5000m world record for men 95-99 at the USATF Masters Outdoor Championships July 11 in Ames, Iowa, where he ran 42:30. The previous record was 50:10. Setting records isn’t new to Englert. At 95, while competing at the USATF Masters Indoor Track & Field Championships in Maryland, he set three world records--in the 800-meter, 1500-meter and 3,000 meter races, with times of 6:03.84, 12:07.63, and 26:01.24. He has also competed in every National Senior Games since they started in 1987. “Its things like this that make the sport fun,” says Englert, of Springfield, VA.

Career/Profession? I had a long career as a lawyer in the banking and securities industry after I spent 22 years in the Treasury Department. I retired in 1997.

When did you start running and why? I didn’t start running until I was 58. I never played sports of any kind as a kid. I was on the small side, so sports weren’t something I felt I could compete in. I grew up in Nashville surrounded by

country music so maybe I should have been a country western singer! I’m sure everyone is happy I didn’t. After serving in the Navy in World War II, where I participated in the D-Day landing at Normandy, I attended Columbia Law School, graduating in 1951. What introduced me to running was reading Dr. Kenneth Cooper’s book Aerobics.

At first, I ran around my basement and struggled to run a quarter-mile. I decided to enter a local meet, where I ran the 400- and 800-meter races and won a both a gold and silver medal. That was a good start!
At home, 2018

Running in peak years/now? Nothing has changed since I picked up running 38 years ago. I still get out and run 2-3 times a week for 2-3 miles. If I have a competition coming up, I’ll run 4 days a week. I do it for fun, not to kill myself. I have run the Cherry Blossom 10-miler and the Army 10-miler. The last time was 2012 but I still didn’t ramp up the distance. I ran those races with a young female Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps. Good company.

Top races or proudest achievements? That would be my 2011 800m-world championship in the Sacramento world meet. I was 88. I was 50 yards from the finish line and the crowds started chanting USA for me. No one was going to beat me after I heard that. It really spurred me on. I can still hear that in my mind, a great memory.

If I include the six relays in which I was a participant, I believe I still hold 10 records. But they all get broken, as they should. Right now there’s an Italian out there breaking all my records. Good for him. And I can’t forget Orville Rogers. He’s 102 (born November 28, 1917), a retired American pilot, and I usually see him at the Games.

How have your diet and weight changed through the years, if at all? Any current supplements?It’s never changed. I’ve been in the 132-136 range since I came home from the war. My two big vices are chocolate and coffee. My doctors approve of that, as it doesn’t seem to hold me back. And I don’t take supplements, except for Vitamin D.

Any serious injury or health problems? None. My knees and ankles and hips are all fine. I’m fortunate to have good genes. I don’t stretch. I tried it but never saw any difference.
In Navy, World War II

Does getting older and slower bother you? No. I was never fast so that doesn’t bother me at all. And I’ve been very lucky in life so getting older doesn’t faze me. As I said, I drew some very lucky cards throughout my life. I’m just one of the lucky ones. I wake up every day and feel blessed.

Favorite inspirational quote? This one from the movie, Bridge over the River Kwai: “There’s always the unexpected, isn’t there?” That’s life in a nutshell.

What 3 short tips would you offer those who want to be lifetime runners? 

1) Keep moving. 2) Keep moving. 3) Keep moving.

What are the biggest lessons (life lessons and running lessons) you have learned from running? I live in a retirement community so I see all levels of fitness. I get around and move more than others half my age. If you give up and settle down in that rocking chair, you’ll likely never get out. It all comes down to this: Just keep moving.