Roy Englert Sr. fought in World War II, practiced law for decades — and then picked up running the 400-meter dash at 61.
He has retired from the military and his law practice, but at 101 years old he has no plans to quit running.
“I’ve retired every year for the last five or six years but then something comes up and then I go try it,” he told WTOP. “I’ll keep going as long as I can.”
Back in July, he won the gold medal in the men’s 400-meter dash at the National Senior Games in the over-100 age bracket. Englert has won many races. In 2018, he set a world record at the USA Track and Field Masters Outdoor Championship in the 95-99 age group.
When he runs, he’s on the track with other runners in different age brackets. They are not his competition, he said. He races against records.
“There are not many people my age running around a track,” Englert said.
Englert picked up running in the early 1980s after reading a book called “Aerobics” by Dr. Kenneth Cooper.
“He said that one needed to exercise, and running was good exercise,” he said. “And so I started running. It’s worked out pretty well.”
Since then, the centenarian traveled around the country to track meets with his now-late wife Helen.
“We had a lot of fun doing that,” Englert said. “The other thing I liked about (running) is the camaraderie. You get to know your competitors really well and become friends.”
Englert said there’s no secret to his longevity, but he hits the treadmill to train for races about three times a week.
He also makes sure to enjoy the small pleasures in life, like drinking coffee and eating chocolate.
“I eat a lot of chocolate candy, have all my life,” he said. “And I drink a lot of coffee, and I have ever since I was in the Navy. And those are very good health things, contrary to what people think about sugar.”