July 08, 2023 2 min read
Allan Tissenbaum will finally run in his hometown after 23 years of Masters track. Photo courtesy Rob Jerome.
By Ray Glier
There is always pressure on Allan Tissenbaum, 63. He is the fastest “old guy” on the planet over 100 meters and rarely does he lose. He is expected to win, not just the 100, but any race, whether it is 60 indoors, or 50 100, or 200 outdoors.
Next week there is some added glare, a good kind of glare, but glare nonetheless.
Tissenbaum has never run a masters race in his home town, Pittsburgh. He will run the 50 and 100 over three days, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at South Fayette High School in the National Senior Games, which is six miles from his home.
His mother, Ellen, 87, a Holocaust survivor, is coming. One of his daughters is coming.
He has grandchildren who have never seen up close wheels like this on Granddad. Allan will have friends gathered at the track who have never seen one of the best ever on the masters circuit run a race.
“This will feel like a very different experience,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
There is added urgency because Tissenbaum is also mulling retirement from masters track. He said seven surgeries have wracked his body. He should know the signposts of retirement for an athlete because, after all, he is an orthopedic surgeon.
Then again, Allan seems to run with one malaise after another. Perhaps he just keeps going.
“I’ll go to Greensboro (USATF Masters Outdoor Championships) and then take a long break, maybe a permanent break,” Tissenbaum said. “I’ve been at this since 2000. I’m very close to being done.
“I’m really broken. I’m miserable, but I haven’t lost any of my speed as my body has fallen apart. People don’t believe it when I tell them that.”
The full homecoming party for Pittsburgh sprinters will be spoiled, though, because Charles Allie, who finished the indoor season ranked No. 1 in the world in the 60 and 200, told Geezer Jock this week he will not run because of a torn meniscus in a knee.
It would have been quite a feat for the 75-year old cancer survivor to make a triumphant return in his hometown in the National Senior Games. Allie said he will get the knee “scoped” in August.
Charles will still be at the track every day for the National Senior Games. He rejoices in the friendships he has made. Here is a link to the story I did on him for Geezer Jock. You will read it and understand why he will be missed.
Charles Allie. Photo courtesy Rob Jerome.
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