The 400 meters Run-Your-Age Club

As we get older, we need goals.  Annual goals.

Gone are the days when just searching and hunting for their daily food was a priority.

Golfers like to “shoot their age” meaning hitting a 75 at age 75 on an 18 hole golf course… most likely from the red tees!

But for Masters track, what are the new goals when you turn 50?  Especially for an aging 400 meter sprinter?

I’ve talked abut attrition is several past articles, so this article is another reality check. Especially since this is September and it’s time to start the annual plan for next year.

A few years ago, a reader mentioned a 400 meters Run-Your-Age award when your 400m time (in seconds) matches your age (in years).  Let’s say 55 seconds at age 55.

But is that really a viable goal?  Can I really run 55 seconds for 400 meters at age 55?  Maybe 60 at 60!

You can’t fool the clock, or Mother nature as well.  My best 400m open time was about 4 seconds slower than the WR (43 high vs 47 high).  So that means, given the normal attrition rate, I’d be 4 seconds slower at M40 or even M50.  Yes, there are freaks in the world who defy this rule, and I say, congratulations, you have found the Fountain of Youth.  But this is my reality check.

400m Run your age

NOTE: Douglas Kalembo’s M50 400  meter world record of 49.86 is still controversial, and therefore not listed.  He would be the winner of the 400m run-your-age record!

The table above shows my “what if” scenario of 5 year age group WR with 4 seconds added as my target (highlighted in yellow).

So at M35, I could run 49.76, and I ran 50.2

At M40, I could run 51.81, and I ran 52.6.  Maybe WR + 4.5 seconds should be my goal?

So at M50, that means a 55 mid or 56 low is in the cards.  Of course, we can’t forget about Kermitt Bentham who ran 53.75 of the Thames Valley/Southern Counties Vets club this year, and he’s 53!

It’s going to be a long long season…

Jimson Lee

Jimson Lee

Coach & Founder at
I am a Masters Athlete and Coach currently based in London UK. My other projects include the Bud Winter Foundation, writer for the IAAF New Studies in Athletics Journal (NSA) and a member of the Track & Field Writers of America.
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee
  • As someone who started sprinting three years ago at age 58, with no track history in my youth, my modest goals are the elite world records X 2: 100m 19.16, , 200m 38.38, 400m 1:26.36 !

  • Here is the most current WMA list / World Mastrers Athletics

    Men Outdoor 400 m
    (Last update: 31 August 2013)
    Age group Mark Name Country Age Meet Date Meet Location
    M 35 45.76 Ibrahima Wade FRA 35 23.07.04 Saint-Denis
    M 40 47.81 Enrico Saraceni ITA 40 28.07.04 ?rhus
    M 45 50.18 Khalid Mulazim USA 45 29.07.11 Berea
    M 50 51.39 Fred Sowerby USA 50 27.08.99 Orlando
    M 55 52.24 Charles Allie USA 55 12.07.03 Carolina
    M 60 53.88 Ralph Romain TRI 63 22.07.95 Buffalo
    M 65 56.09 Charles Allie USA 65 18.05.13 Raleigh
    M 70 59.34 Guido Müeller GER 70 07.08.09 Lahti
    M 75 64.10 Hugh Coogan AUS 76 05.11.11 Brisbane
    M 80 70.01 Hisamitsu Hijiya JPN 81 16.09.12 Miyazaki
    M 85 80.47 Lucas Nel RS 87 16.10.10 Sydney
    M 90 95.04 Ugo Sansonetti ITA 90 07.08.09 Lahti
    M 95 2:21.82 Orville Rogers USA 95 12.07.13 Olathe
    M100 3:41.00 Erwin Jaskulski AUT 100 13.03.03 San Sebastian

    Charlie Allie is from here in Pittsburgh,PA