Thelma Fouché has been doing her local park run since 2012 and believes that staying fit both physically and mentally can lead to a long healthy life.
Thelma just celebrated her 224th Park run at the Len Rutter Park where she has been running since 2012. She loves running and has also done countless fun runs and completed 11 Comrades Marathons.
She encourages the young and old to get active and stay active. She credits her good health to her active lifestyle and believes anyone can do it.
“For me, staying active is a way of life, and I believe that is what kept me healthy. You are never too old to do something, you just need to go out and try.”
Not many elderly people run like Thelma does so she is always ranked quite high in her age group. She loves competitive running and is always entering one race or another.
“I have run quite a variety of races, ranging from five-kilometre fun runs, 16 km races, 32 km races to the Comrades Marathon, and have won a lot of medals,” she said.
Hoping to inspire younger generations, she has donated a few of her prized trophies to the Golden Reef Running Club. Thelma has been a member for the past 41 years and knows her trophies will inspire and motivate others.
The reason that Thelma is such an inspiration is that she only started running when she was 48. She then went on to run 13 Comrades and completed 11.
“I went on to run 13 more, but only finished 11. On my tenth run, I did not finish, because I slipped and fell, but I went back the next year and received my green number. I did not run again, because I was not fast enough to qualify any more,” she said.
Thelma’s doctor has asked her to slow down a little as her bones are becoming weaker but she is determined to stay as active as possible, both physically and mentally.
“I play tennis twice a week, spend some time on the stationary bike and treadmill and also present an exercise class for my fellow residents here at the Ons Huis Retirement Village, three times a week,” she said.
To ensure her mental fitness stays up to scratch, she plays chess and has challenged herself to start learning how to play the piano too. She believes that if you do not nourish the mind, it will go blank.
Thelma is an inspiration and we would love to be like her when we grow up.