PROFILE--Ian Barnes has been running for 65 years. And he's still winning.

Photo here and below by Karen Harland.
(Oct 2020) Last week Ian Barnes gained at least 15 minutes of fame when a BBC video circulated widely around the Internet. In the video, Barnes, 85, finishes a one-mile track race in England in 8:10--apparently a British record for his age. That's also faster than the American record for an 85-year old. Members of Barnes's club, Darlington Harriers, helped Lifetime Running contact Barnes, and he graciously responded to our questions (in a very understated, British sort of way.) Barnes has become the first lifetime runner to recommend golf for cross-training. He's no softie, though. He's still running 40 to 50 miles a week, and believe in the no pain-no gain philosophy. "The harder you train, the luckier you get," he says.

Career-profession? I was employed  as a  Legal Executive  in the legal profession.


When did you begin running and why? I started running in 1955. The local harriers club was advertising  for new members in the local press. As I had  enjoyed running at school and in the army, I felt I should give it try. That was the beginning of my journey.


How much are you currently training? About 40 to 50 miles a week.


Best races and/or greatest achievements? As a senior athlete, I won medals in the 880 yards and one-mile events in the county championships. I also represented the county in the inter-county cross-country championships. 


As a veteran/master athlete, I have won several gold medals in

championship events. I’d say my highlight was winning the European Indoor M60 1500-meters.

[See here for many more stats on Ian Barnes's long and distinguished running career.]


About how many miles have you run? About 90,000 miles, I think.


Any particular cross-training? My training is mainly on tracks and on the roads. Before each training session, I do some mobility exercises. Playing golf twice a week is good for the back.

Does it bother you that you are getting slower with age? I have come to terms with the fact that I  can no longer run as fast as younger ones. But as  a master athlete, you find a niche in the 5 year age bands whereby you can race for records or championships medals.


Any dietary or weight changes? My weight is consistent. I have a normal diet without supplements.


Injuries or health issues? I have no major health issues.


A favorite motivational quote? “No pain, no gain. The harder you train, the luckier you get.”


Advice for other hopeful lifetime runners?

1--Stick to a training plan, and remember their are peaks and troughs. 

2--Defer any plans to run a marathon until you have fully tested your potential over the shorter distances.

3--Avoid illness and maintain well being.


How has running improved your life? Running has certainly delayed the aging process. I try to avoid long breaks, but also to be patient.