Typically the 800m and 1,500m are the commonly run middle-distance races, but I’ve used the mile because it’s more relatable for most runners than the 1,500. This article also includes times for 3,000m which is on the cusp of being middle distance. For elite men, it takes around 7½ minutes and puts them on the edge of their aerobic limits whereas for women it’s almost a minute slower. But one reason why I’ve included them is to have three balanced articles containing records for three distances!
With all the women’s records from here onwards, many of the older age group times have good potential to be broken. Some of the over-ninety records don’t even exist. It was only in the 1980s that women began to compete at Olympics and World Championships in the longer distances and so many of the older age category records are held by women who started running later in life.
Of course there were women who ran distance before the eighties but they were fewer and far between. Katharine Switzer, who was the first woman to run the Boston marathon, was born in 1947 and opened the door for other women at the distance. In fact, many of the pioneers are younger and barely turning sixty at the time of writing.
The consequence of all this is the older age groups records have never been seriously trained for, or contested, by lifetime runners. To an extent this is also true of some of the older male records as few kept going past seventy but certainly with the women’s records we can expect some of their records to fall as the generation that started running distance in the late sixties are now hitting their seventies and the ones who followed them will have benefitted from increased participation and training.
Age group world records for 800m
|World Record||1:40.9||David Rudisha||09-Aug-12||1:53.8||Jarmila Kratochvilova||26-Jul-83|
|V35||1:43.4||Johnny Gray||16-Aug-95||1:56.5||Lyubov Gurina||30-Jul-94|
|V40||1:48.1||Tony Whiteman||12-Jul-14||1:59.3||Yekaterina Podkopayeva||30-Jun-94|
|V45||1:49.9||Tony Whiteman||19-Aug-17||2:02.8||Yekaterina Podkopayeva||26-Jun-98|
|V50||1:58.6||Nolan Shaheed||13-May-00||2:12.5||Eva Trost||03-Aug-18|
|V60||2:08.6||Nolan Shaheed||23-Apr-11||2:33.1||Lidia Zentner||14-Sep-13|
|V65||2:14.3||Earl Fee||18-Jul-95||2:39.6||Sabra Harvey||31-Oct-16|
|V70||2:20.5||Earl Fee||17-Jun-99||2:50.7||Sabra Harvey||19-Jul-19|
|V95||4:51.4||Antonio Nacca||09-Jun-19||9:30.5||Hollyce Kirkland||10-Jun-17|
Age group world records for the mile
|V35||3:51||Bernard Lagat||06-Aug-11||4:17||Maricica Puica||21-Aug-85|
|V40||3:58||Bernard Lagat||25-Jul-15||4:24||Yekaterina Podkopayeva||09-Jun-93|
|V45||4:10||Davide Raineri||05-Sep-20||4:48||Yekaterina Podkopayeva||13-Sep-97|
|V55||4:35||Keith Bateman||18-Dec-10||5:08||Anne Gilshinan||07-Aug-19|
|V60||4:49||Dan King||29-Aug-20||5:40||Lesley Chaplin Hinz||14-Jul-18|
|V65||4:56||Derek Turnbull||29-Feb-92||5:55||Angela Copson||19-Jul-15|
|V70||5:20||Joop Rüter||11-Jul-03||6:38||Sharon Gerl||06-May-18|
|V75||5:42||Ed Whitlock||28-Jul-06||6:58||Jeanne Daprano||21-Jul-12|
|V90||9:43||Gunnar Linde||17-Feb-19||12:49||Heather Lee||11-Jan-20|
Age group world records for 3000m
|World Record||7:21||Daniel Komen||01-Sep-96||8:06||Wang Junxia||13-Sep-93|
|V35||7:29||Bernard Lagat||29-Aug-10||8:28||Maricica Puica||07-Sep-85|
|V40||7:43||Bernard Lagat||14-Jul-15||9:03||Nuria Fernandez||24-Jun-17|
|V45||8:16||Vyacheslav Shabunin||17-Jul-15||9:17||Yekaterina Podkopayeva||22-Jun-97|
|V50||8:41||Christian Geffray||07-Jul-04||9:47||Gitte Karlshøj||19-May-09|
|V55||8:57||Keith Bateman||13-Nov-10||10:04||Silke Schmidt||10-Jul-15|
|V60||9:21||Yoshitsugu Iwanaga||26-Sep-20||10:29||Silke Schmidt||22-Aug-19|
|V65||9:47||Derek Turnbull||08-Feb-92||11:43||Kathryn Martin||03-Sep-17|
|V70||10:42||Siem Herlaar||02-Jul-99||12:13||Angela Copson||01-Sep-18|
|V75||11:10||Ed Whitlock||25-Jul-06||13:56||Yoko Nakano||21-Sep-12|
|V80||12:14||Ed Whitlock||26-Jul-11||14:27||Yoko Nakano||27-Oct-17|
|V85||14:13||Julian Bernal Medina||20-Feb-05||19:58||Lenore Montgomery||09-Jul-17|
Notes on Masters world records
All data was sourced from Wikipedia in mid-June 2021. The aim is not to create a comprehensive set of records but to give readers an indication of what is possible. I will periodically update these when I can.