— The Armory (@ArmoryNYC) December 11, 2017
Gary Patton of the United States became the first runner older than 70 to break 5:30 for an indoor mile on Dec. 7. The then 71-year-old covered 1,609m in 5:29.81 to break a 30-year-old record, according to the World Masters Athletics record book, at the New York Road Runners’ Night at the Races.
The NYRR-hosted event – the same organization that puts on the New York City Marathon – took place at the Armory, a 200m indoor banked track, in Manhattan. Patton, who lowered the record from 5:32.4 from 1987, turned 72 on Dec. 12.
Canadian Earl Fee owns the men’s indoor mile world record of 5:41.95 in the next oldest age group above Patton for men 75-79. Generally, the mile is a lesser-run event in Canada in relation the 1,500m, a distance at which the late Ed Whitlock holds the men’s indoor records for M75, M80 and M85.
For comparison, the men’s outdoor mile world record for M70 is 5:19.75, according to the World Masters Athletics records (last updated on Oct. 1, 2017 as of writing).