A badass 100-year-old man, identified as Mr. Lester Wright, recently broke a 100-meter sprinting world record and was quoted saying – “I don’t run to be second”. A World-War 2 vet, he ran the fastest 100-meter ever for a person aged 100-years or above, and clocked at a applause worthy 26.34 seconds.

It should be noted that the fastest 100-meters ran by any person on record has been Usain Bolt, who clocked at a blazing 9.58 seconds. However, to have a man who’s hundred years old, cover the same distance in less than thrice the clock time is surely buzz-worthy.

Mr. Lester Wright turned 100 earlier last week and spoke to Fox29 about competing in the “Masters Men’s 100m dash 80 and older”. “If you’re going to go out to run a race, you should really run the race to try to win. I don’t know how you can run to be second or third,” he was quoted saying.

It should be noted that Mr. Lester is no stranger to breaking records. Back when he was 76-years-old he made the headlines for breaking the 200-meter world record for over 75s. His foray into sprinting has lasted over 80 years and he first started sprinting back in 1930s.

The Facts of the Matter

The 2022 Penn Relays held at Philadelpha saw a new world record being made. Interestingly, the world record was not made by an Olympic athlete, or an up-and-coming star. It was made by a 100-year-old world-war 2 veteran who broke a 100-year-old sprint record. 100-year-old New Jersey resident Lester Wright reportedly ran in the 100-meter-dash race  called “Masters Men’s 100m dash 80 and older”.

Lester Wright Loses Race, Wins Hearts

Mr. Wright’s field included runners who were 80 years old and above, and was won by Bob Williamson (84). While Mr. Wright didn’t win the race, he stunned competitors by his timing. Clocking at 26.34 seconds, Mr. Wright shattered the records maintained in the 100-104 age group which was earlier held by Donald Pellmann at 26.66 seconds.

“It’s in head more than physical”

After clocking the impressive timing and breaking a 100-year-old record, Mr. Wright was quoted saying, “It was pretty nice to be able to do this at age 100. When I came here I was a little bit nervous, but when I saw the crowd and everything, I fell right in with it.”

When asked if he was tired, Mr. Wright said a straight no and further agreed that he can do it again. “I think it’s in the head, more than it is physical,” Mr. Wright added. He explained that he had plenty of energy left over after completing the 100m dash. Further, he admitted that he hadn’t run officially for three years because of illness and this was the first time he ran following recovery.

Wife Behind Energy and Youthful Exuberance

Mr. Wright credited his wife for his energy and youthful exuberance. Married for over 80 years, he said that her wife was the reason why he has been able to live such a fruitful life. “We did everything together. We worked together, we had a business together, we traveled together, we shopped together. That’s it!” Mr. Wright said.

Lester Wright Earned Stars in World War, Started Running Since 1930s

It should be noted that Mr. Wright’s history with running is as long as 80 years. In 1930s, when India was still under British rule and US was dealing with “Great Depression”, Mr. Wright started his sprinting career.

His stint ended abruptly as he was forced to participate in the World War 2. Thanks to his impressive stint at the War, he earned four Bronze Battle stars.


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