100-year-old runner at Penn Relays provides inspiration for family, friends

For the first time since the pandemic, the Penn Relays are back at Philadelphia's Franklin Field. One runner is proving the competition isn’t just for young athletes.

"If you’re going to go out to run a race, you should really run the race and try to win. I don’t know how you can run to be second or third," Lester Wright stated.

Anyone can say that with a perfect blend of bravado and humility, but only if that person is 100-year-old Lester Wright.

Friday, Wright celebrated his birthday and Saturday, he will lace up his track shoes to compete in the Senior Masters Division at the Penn Relays.

"Everybody is elated. They’re excited he’s doing it. They want to be part of it," Lester’s grandson, John Wall, stated.

Lester, a Long Branch, New Jersey native, where he met his wife in high school, both of whom competed in track events in the late 1930s. He served in the Army in World War II. When he returned, he started a business and started running, again and has continued for 70 years.

"My wife tells me finish your race. I think it will be a wonderful legacy for my children, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren," Wright added.