AGE is nothing but just a number.
The adage aptly suits S’khosini Khumalo, who this morning will take to the road as he participates in the annual PPC Zimbabwe-sponsored Matopos 33-Miler ultra-marathon.
Khumalo was born on February 5 1941 and is defying the odds as he will take part in the gruelling 53km race in the grandmasters’ category.
Khumalo is likely to battle for the first prize money with the in-form granddads of road running, Jethro Thebe and Peter Ncube (61).
The 73-year-old Khumalo failed to finish the same competition in time last year due to injury.
He has also featured in competitions such as the Nkulumane 10km fun run, the Old Mutual fun run, and the Econet-sponsored Victoria Falls marathon.
He clocked three hours, 39mins 26secs in the 2012 Victoria Falls Marathon, a 42,2km stretch and 41mins 20secs in the Nkulumane fun run in the same year.
“I am preparing for the competition. I have never heard of someone of my age doing such competitions. I have participated in this competition before although I did not finish well after I had a lock-up in one of my legs. I am very much aware of other grandmaster competitors likely to feature, Thebe and Ncube. They are good athletes, I am not sure about Jethro’s times, but he is very good.
“He is capable of producing unexpected times, so I know they will give me a very healthy competition. I usually set time for myself when taking part in competitions, so I am expecting to hit the tape in four hours 40-50mins, it’s something I can achieve,” he said.
Khumalo got himself involved in competitions outside the country to maintain his fitness.
Early this year in January he took part in the Welkom 42km race in Johannesburg, South Africa.
He romped home in three hours, 45mins 23secs.
It is yet to be seen today whether as the old man grows, the slower he would become or would defy all odds to set improved records.
His current time shows a slump from his performance in the previous years.
In the 2012 Victorial Falls marathon, he clocked three hours, 39mins 26secs, almost 20mins faster than his last performance in South Africa in January.