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WATCH: 100-year-old clocks 26 seconds in 100m

The WWII veteran finished seventh out of nine runners, beating an 86-year-old and 92-year-old

Lester Wright, a WWII veteran and recent centenarian, has broken the M100+  world record in the 100m, clocking 26.34 at Penn Relays last weekend in Philadelphia. He erased the previous record of 26.99 seconds, set by fellow American Donald Pellmann at age 100 in 2015. Wright had just turned 100 the day before the race.




Wright served in the U.S. military during WWII in Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge in 1944.

Wright said to the media post-race that he was inspired by having his wife, children, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren in the stands to watch. This world masters record is not Wright’s first; 24 years ago, he broke the M75+ world 200m record at age 76.

2022 Penn Relays. Photo: Kevin Morris

The newly crowned world’s fastest 100-year-old man still competes for his hometown Shore Athletic Club, a community athletics organization out of Spring Lake, N.J.

Wright and his wife Adele have been married for 81 years, raising four children, who gave them six grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren.

Wright became a centenarian on April 29 and then on April 30, he celebrated in style, running a new age-group world record in front of thousands of track fans. He crossed the line to a standing ovation, finishing seventh out of nine runners, beating an 86-year-old and 92-year-old.