Olympic Marathon Age Records

The US Olympic marathon trials were held today and Meb Keflezighi made his fourth Olympic team. Meb won a bronze medal in the 2004 Olympic marathon and will be 41 years old on the day of the 2016 Olympic marathon. Much is being made about his age – how does it stack up against previous Olympic marathoners?

Meb Keflezighi

On the day of the Olympic marathon in Rio, Meb will be 41 years, 108 days old (41-108). That’s relatively ancient for a world-class marathoner, but far from unheard of. In fact, there have been 21 Olympic men run the Olympic marathon at an older age, led by Canadian Percy Wyer, who ran the 1936 marathon when he was 52-years-old. Here is the top 25 through 2012:



52-199,Percy Wyer,1936,CAN

48-196,Bohumil “Boris” Honzátko,1924,TCH

46-135,Haile Satayin,2008,ISR

45-246,Toni Bernadó,2012,AND

44-195,Percy Wyer,1928,CAN

44-069,Jack Foster,1976,NZL

44-017,Wally Hayward,1952,RSA

43-023,Luis López,1992,CRC

42-240,Ion Pool,1900,GBR

42-194,Roman Kejžar,2008,SLO

42-140,Haile Satayin,2004,ISR

41-345,Wallace Williams,1988,ISV

41-258,Toni Bernadó,2008,AND

41-235,Panagiotis “Peter” Trivoulidis,1920,GRE

41-235,Eusebio Guiñez,1948,ARG

41-206,Ville Kyrönen,1932,FIN

41-206,Andrés Espinosa,2004,MEX

41-204,Harold Webster,1936,CAN

41-201,William Saward,1900,GBR

41-166,Baba Ibrahim Suma-Keita,1988,SLE

41-148,Jack Holden,1948,GBR

40-352,Cristea Dinu,1952,ROU

40-336,Johnny A. Kelley,1948,USA

40-309,Mikko Hietanen,1952,FIN

40-185,Franjo Mihalić,1960,YUG


What about among US men Olympic marathoners, you surely are asking? Meb will become the oldest American man to run the marathon at the Olympics, with the current oldest being Johnny “The Elder” Kelley at London in 1948. Meb’s 2012 London marathon already put him 6th oldest among US men. Here is the US top 10 list:



40-336,Johnny A. Kelley,1948,USA

40-104,Jimmy Henigan,1932,USA

40-059,Clarence DeMar,1928,USA

38-321,Billy Churchill,1924,USA

38-235,Albert “Whitey” Michelsen,1932,USA

37-099,Meb Keflezighi,2012,USA

36-102,Jimmy Henigan,1928,USA

36-036,Clarence DeMar,1924,USA

35-241,Tom Jones,1952,USA

35-223,Abdi Abdirahman,2012,USA


This will be Meb’s third Olympic marathon, after 2004 and 2012 – he ran the 10,000 metres in 2000. Have any marathoners ever competed in more Olympic races? Yes, in fact, Andorran Toni Bernadó and Romanian Lidia Şimon ran 5 Olympic marathons from 1996-2012. Here is the list of all those running 4 or more Olympic marathons:



5,Toni Bernadó,M,AND,1996,2000,2004,2008,2012

5,Lidia Şimon,F,ROU,1996,2000,2004,2008,2012

4,Karel Lismont,M,BEL,1972,1976,1980,1984

4,Baikuntha Manandhar,M,NEP,1976,1980,1984,1988

4,Rob de Castella,M,AUS,1980,1984,1988,1992

4,Ahmed Salah,M,DJI,1984,1988,1992,1996

4,Lisa Martin-Ondieki,F,AUS,1984,1988,1992,1996

4,Lorraine Moller,F,NZL,1984,1988,1992,1996

4,Steve Moneghetti,M,AUS,1988,1992,1996,2000

4,Erika Olivera,F,CHI,1996,2000,2004,2012

4,Lee Bong-Ju,M,KOR,1996,2000,2004,2008

4,Pavel Loskutov,M,EST,1996,2000,2004,2008

4,Viktor Röthlin,M,SUI,2000,2004,2008,2012


Shalane Flanagan will also run in her 4th Olympics, after racing the 5K in 2004, the 5 and 10K in 2008, and the marathon in 2012. Flanagan will be 35 years old in Rio. How does that stack up against female Olympic marathoners in terms of senescence? Here are the lists for the top 25 oldest women to run the Olympic marathon and the USA top 10 list:



48-234,Lourdes Klitzkie,1988,GUM

46-284,Joyce Smith,1984,GBR

46-236,Evy Palm,1988,SWE

43-083,Irina Bogacheva,2004,KGZ

42-195,Sue Hobson,2000,AUS

42-194,Constantina Tomescu,2012,ROU

41-141,María Luisa Muñoz,2000,ESP

41-058,Lorraine Moller,1996,NZL

40-298,Garifa Kuku,2000,KAZ

40-297,Ivana Sekyrová,2012,CZE

40-130,Colleen de Reuck,2004,USA

39-347,Irina Mikitenko,2012,GER

39-299,María Elena Espeso,2012,ESP

39-256,Priscilla Welch,1984,GBR

39-251,Francie Larrieu-Smith,1992,USA

39-159,Pauline Curley,2008,IRL

39-157,Rhonda Davidson-Alley,2000,GUM

39-116,Irina Bogacheva,2000,KGZ

39-077,Gaby Andersen-Schiess,1984,SUI

39-052,Liza Hunter-Galvan,2008,NZL

38-357,Mara Yamauchi,2012,GBR

38-335,Lidia Şimon,2012,ROU

38-251,Magda Ilands,1988,BEL

38-232,Nelly Chávez,1984,BOL

38-206,Constantina Tomescu,2008,ROU




40-130,Colleen de Reuck,2004,USA

39-251,Francie Larrieu-Smith,1992,USA

37-349,Chris Clark,2000,USA

35-183,Deena Drossin-Kastor,2008,USA

35-082,Linda Somers,1996,USA

35-015,Magda Lewy-Boulet,2008,USA

34-091,Nancy Ditz,1988,USA

34-027,Kara Goucher,2012,USA

33-024,Blake Russell,2008,USA

33-009,Jenny Spangler,1996,USA


Colleen de Reuck

Flanagan’s 2012 Olympic marathon was done at age 31-028, putting her 13th on the US list for oldest female Olympic marathoners through 2012. She will be 35-037 on the day of the women’s Rio marathon and will move up to 6th among US Olympic marathoners, but she will not crack the top 25 for all nations.


One thought on “Olympic Marathon Age Records”

  1. Meb won a bronze medal in the 2004 Olympic marathon and will be 41 years old on the day of the 2016 Olympic marathon. Where is this information?

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