No, not that Ali, but the achievements and accomplishments are no less amazing.
This is Charles “Buddy” Allie of whom I speak. Allie is quite possibly one of the most dominant USA Masters Track and Field Champions in Pittsburgh, nationally, and for that matter, the world. Having just turned the young age of “65,” Allie rejoiced at a grand celebration at the Radisson hotel atop a brand new “Harley,” which he sprung for himself, that brought the house down for his three hundred plus family and friends in attendance.
|MASTERS CHAMPION—Charles “Buddy” Allie, right, wins the World Masters Championship in Sacremento, Calif. in July 2011. He finished first in the 100 meters in the 60-64 age group. (Courtesy Photo)
Prior to the event “Buddy” was ranked number one (1) in the world in the 60 — 64 age group in all of his running events, the 60, 100, 200, and 400 meters. (Karl Lewis who?) And he has competed in International World Championship Meets in Spain, Italy, England, France, Puerto Rico and Australia, just to name a few. He currently holds three World Records and one American Record. If that’s not enough (and trust me you can never get enough for track stars, they can go all day) in 2005 he was elected to the USA Masters Track and Field Hall of Fame and was selected USA Masters Track Athlete of the Year for his age group in 2008, 2009, and 2010.
By now I know most of you are reasonably impressed. Not that Buddy expects that of you. He is one of the most quiet, unassuming superstars of his trade. As a matter of fact you could be in a room with him for “65” hours and you would never know he was a track phenom. That said, allow me to put this in some perspective for you. After turning “65” at a Potomac Valley Track Club Meet earlier this year, Allie shattered world records in the 200 and 400 meters with unbelievable times of 24.85 and 56.28; besting listed world records of 25.20 by American great Steve Robbins in 2008 and 56.37 by German legend Guido Mueller in 2004. (For all you now old and almost dead ex-city league track stars that means “Mr. Allie” is still kickin’ some world class butt while you’re catching a jitney from point “A” to point “B”.)
Now you might think the story ends here but it doesn’t, for two reasons; #1. because the story ends when I say it does … and, #2 and way more importantly because with all those stats that’s not really what makes “Buddy” great. But here’s what does. He’s been a devoted husband to his beautiful and wonderful wife Jackie for “40 years” (now that’s a record for ya) a great father to Angie and B.J. A lifelong resident of Pittsburgh’s Northside, a retired middle school teacher at McNaugher, Columbus, Allegheny & Frick and girls basketball, soccer and softball coach; an Oliver High School and Hampton University Track Scholarship graduate; and not to be overlooked a well loved member of the Pittsburgh “Satin & Soul” Ballroom Dancers and the Pittsburgh “United Rays” Corvette Club. (And yep he’s the fastest there too… (oh shut-up Milton and Greg just enjoy the story).
All that said he still finds time to provide leadership, support and inspiration to other senior athletes on staying fit and living a healthy life style as well as mentoring and training young athletes and special elite athletes such as world and Olympic Champion Kevin “Freight Train” Parker.
Needless to say, I could continue to write about this local legend until I turn 65, which won’t be long from now, but as sure as I’m closing this chapter, “Buddy” is somewhere in the world about to break another world record … (Mama, there goes that man again!) Allie … Allie … Allie!!!