AT THE AGE OF 76 THIS GREAT GRANDMASTER REFUSES TO SLOW DOWN
August 2, 2018  

He still runs a 45-minute 10km and recently placed second in his age category at the Nelson Mandela Bay SA Half Marathon Champs, finishing in a time of 1:42. Meet Tamsanqa Jusayi, a 76-year-old Great Grandmaster who defies his age every morning when he laces up his running shoes.

So for most of us average runners a sub 50-minute 10km or a sub 2-hour half marathon is always nice goals to work towards. Most of us also know as we age we naturally slow down, and that these goal times become out of our reach. But one runner from the Nedbank Running Club (NRC) who refuses to let age slow him down is Tamsanqa Jusayi, who lives in Port Elizabeth and regularly finishes on the podium in his age category at weekend races. His times are often faster than many men in the Open Category. His success is simple, says Jusayi. It comes down to a passion for running and consistent training.

Jusayi, who lives alone after his wife passed away last year, religiously wakes up at 5am every morning and runs the same route alone, some days 2-3 hours at a time. “I don’t mind running alone, people from the neighbourhood are use to seeing me run and support me when they see me on the road,” says Jusayi. He sill works part time, helping to erect fences.

On Saturdays he wakes at 4:30am when someone fetches him to take him to a weekend race in PE. And that is what he loves most, as he gets to socialise with other runners and he also gets to run some cross-country races, which he has a huge passion for. He has run a couple of sub 4-hour marathons but prefer half marathons.

Jusayi who started running at the age of 18 has seen a lot of changes on the running scene throughout the years. He has run for several clubs but has been a proud member of the NRC for some time now.

He tries to live healthily and focuses on what he eats. “One thing that is important to me is to not just eat anything and everything. I choose what I eat and I include a lot of vegetables,” says Jusayi.

He is elated about his silver medal at the recent SA Half Marathon Champs, and even more motivated to keep on racing as long as he can. Age he says, is merely a number.