“I eat good and nutritious food and keep in shape by exercising regularly,” says Visram
BY SULTAN JESSA
TORONTO – Ontario: Allaudin Visram was an all-round sportsman in his native Tanzania and was particularly good in his favourite sport of cricket.
But, in recent years, he has developed a passion for marathons.
“I will be 75 later this year,” he said. “But, I still run eight km twice a month from my house to Scarborough during summer and winter,” Visram adds. “It is easy to run on snowing winter days than in extreme heat we experienced this summer.”
He is an ardent and experienced runner.
“I eat good and nutrious food and do regular exercise.” “The rest is in Allah’s hand.”
Visram was born and grew up in the Tanzanian capital of Dar es Salaam and attended Aga Khan High School.
While growing up, his father observed his son took a lot of interest in sports.
“He encouraged me to play and be active in sports. He also advised me to refrain from smoking and drinking. If you indulge in bad habits, you will never get anywhere.”
His father was also a renowned sportsman when he lived in clove island of Zanzibar before moving to Dar es Salaam.
“My dad always reminded health is wealth,” he added. “I have never forgotten this.”
He loved cricket and is believed to be the only Ismaili scholar to score a century in the Isherwood Tournament.
After completing school, he played for the Aga Khan team with many of the notable cricketers in Tanzania.
His parents died before his marriage.
Visram immigrated to Canada in October 1972.
“I was tough resettling in Canada,” he recalls. “We East Africans had never experienced a Canadian winter before.”
His passion for sports was re-kindled and he succeeded in assembling a team in Toronto which participated in many tournaments in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.
At one time he even captained his cricket team.
While playing sports, he developed an interest in running two or three days a week.
“I felt energized.”
Visram then started running whenever he could find time.
He then got involved in five km and 10 kn. marathons and religiously watched marathons around the world on television.
At the same time he started spending a lot of time at the libraries researching and studying about marathons.
Visram paid a lot of attention to diet and sleep.
“I collected a lot of information on how to prepare to run marathons without getting hurt.”
He later participated in marathons in Ottawa, Toronto, and even Vancouver.
It was tough but he learned a lot from finishing these marathons.
“I believe I am the only Canadian Ismaili to have run in six marathons.”
Visram received a lukewarm reception to a 10 km marathon for the Ismaili community.
But, he never gave up.
With the assistance of a friend John Craig – he describes him as his point man – the community eventually got involved in marathons.