Charles Allie: Running in the National Senior Games at 75

The track star’s race has taken him from the North Side through adversity to the National Senior Games.

By John Beale, Next Pittsburgh

As a sixth grader at Schiller Elementary School on Pittsburgh’s North Side, Charles “Buddy” Allie was searching for a sport to help him stand out from the crowd.

“In sixth, seventh and eighth grade, you’ve got to do something to prove yourself,” says Allie, a retired Pittsburgh Public Schools middle school industrial arts teacher. “We ran races on the playground at Schiller School, and in the alleys of North Side. I found out I was the fastest guy in the schoolyard.”

Now age 75, and despite treatment for prostate cancer in 2021 and 2022, Allie is one of the fastest sprinters in the world for his age in Masters athletics. Masters has age divisions for men and women starting at age 35.

“I’m kind of on my comeback,” Allie says. “My weight’s down and my strength is back.”

Charles Allie was named World Masters Athlete of the Year in 2013 and 2018. At the Penn Relays in Philadelphia in April, he won the 100-meter race with a time of 13.96 seconds. In July, he will compete in the National Senior Games in Pittsburgh.

More than 11,000 senior athletes are expected to compete in 21 sporting events in and around the city between July 7-18. This year, Allie hopes to break the age-graded world record for the 100 meters, which is 13.36 seconds for 75-year-olds.

Allie, of Banksville, has set numerous world records in the 200 and 400 meters for runners in his age group. His fellow Houston Elite Track Club runners call him “One Speed.”

“They tell me, ‘You don’t have to run one speed all the time,’ Allie says. “They tell me to save myself for the finals. But once the gun goes off, I’m gone.

“People ask me my secret. They want to know what I eat. But there’s really no secret.”

Allie trains a few times a week alone in Schenley Park and at a gym in Green Tree. College runners, some one fourth his age, give Allie a fist bump when they see him at the track. Many recognize Allie, although most aren’t aware of his accomplishments.

“I don’t have a coach and I often don’t have a training partner,” Allie says. “It’s nice to have some company, but once I’m here (at the track), I make the most of it.”

When Allie isn’t training or spending time with family, he does home repairs and he’s involved with the United Council of Corvette Clubs. He and his wife, Jackie, have two children, Charles Allie Jr. and Angela Allie, plus two grandchildren.

“I’m healthy now and I have a home-court advantage. I’m familiar with the track,” Allie says when asked about competing in the National Senior Games. “If I can get the 100-meter record, I’ll be real happy.”

The National Senior Games come to venues around the Pittsburgh region, July 7-18, with the David L. Lawrence Convention Center serving as the hub for the event’s 20 competitions. The Senior Games are for athletes 50 and older and are organized in five-year age divisions. 

Article courtesy of Next Pittsburgh –