PENSACOLA, FL — A U.S. Navy Sailor who smashed through the world record for the 1.5 mile run Tuesday is being discharged from the military for failing to maintain physical fitness standards, officials said.
His run record was one part of a bi-annual fitness exam mandated by the Navy called the Physical Readiness Test (PRT).
With a 1.5 mile run time of 5:21.04, Petty Officer 3rd Class Jay Legasse broke the previous record by 35 seconds, and his one mile split also broke the world record for the mile run by three seconds. In spite of his running prowess, the Navy is forcing him out for his third PRT failure, based on his inability to complete more than 14 pushups at a time.
“I’m just really disappointed in myself,” Legasse told Duffel Blog reporters. “I just wish I was more physically fit.”
In June, the Navy will discharge Legasse, a 6’2” 160 lb. airman working at Naval Air Station Pensacola.
In an official statement, a Navy spokesman said the service “strictly enforces fitness standards to keep slobs like Airman Legasse out.” Navy standards require males to complete a 1.5 mile run within 13 minutes, 30 seconds, and a minimum of 37 pushups and 46 situps. Critics of the Navy’s decision have taken the case to the House Armed Services Committee in light of Legasse’s outstanding athletic accomplishment.
They’re not expected to succeed, given the Navy’s judgement in similar cases. In 1996, the Navy discharged Radioman and powerlifter James Henderson, who held the world record for unassisted bench press, but was unable to complete the mile and a half run within the minimum time.
His discharge statement read, “Does not meet Navy physical standards. Saw his bench press record. Don’t give a shit.”