Joseph Camilleri


Joseph is a world-class runner, with some incredible marathon times achieved in his senior years. He represents Canada internationally and has picked up some world honours.

  • Bronze in the World Marathon Age Category Championships
  • Sub 3:25 marathon aged 72
  • Winner of Vancouver Race Series
  • World Championship qualifier

In 2017 Joe ran his first marathon at the Vancouver Marathon, finishing in 3:30:45. He won his age group (65-69). The following year he ran the Boston Marathon representing Canada, and it was to his credit that he finished it.

“I finished despite the worst storm in 30 years” says Joe. “After finishing, I ended up for over an hour in the medical tent suffering from severe Hypothermia.”

In 2019, he ran the Victoria Marathon in 3:25:58 and took second in his category. Following the Covid break he ran at the 2022 London Marathon which was also the World Age Category Championships. Finishing in 3:24:43 aged 72, he took world bronze.

Then in 2023 he returned to the Vancouver Marathon where he first completed the distance to take the age category win in 3:24:10. This was a personal best for the marathon.

Joe has also won the Vancouver Island Race Series. That’s eight races from 5k to half marathon. He counts this as a highlight along with the London bronze medal at the Age Group World Championships and the Vancouver 2023 win and Category Champion win.

In the 2023 World Age Group Championships he ran a 3:29 marathon at age 73 and took Silver (more here).

Joseph has become recognizable in the running community, where he’s known as Joe Crazy Legs. He also contributes to running by marshalling and photographing, and most Saturdays does both at his local parkrun.   Joe is a proud member of the Prairie Inn Harriers Running Club, located in Victoria, British Columbia in all his races.

In 2023, he was looking forward to racing in October. “I will, once again, represent Canada at the Chicago Marathon/WANDA WMM World Age Group Championships. And I also have qualified for the 2024 World Championships.”

Vegan runner

“I will never again eat any animals or animal products. If anyone is in doubt about my diet, all they have to do is to look at my running statistics. I have gone faster, the older I got!”

Joseph has been vegan from around the time of his first marathon in 2017.

“In 2015, I read the China Study by Dr. Campbell and transitioned to a Vegetarian diet” he says. “Initially, it was for personal health reasons. I noticed that not only my running did not suffer, but it actually improved.”

“I realized that I stayed healthy as ever, and decided that I could do without animal products.”

He switched completely to a Plant Based diet in 2017.

“Since then, it has become more than a personal choice, but, more so, for the welfare of all animals, not just pets. I will never again eat any animals or animal products. If anyone is in doubt about my diet, all they have to do is to look at my running statistics. I have gone faster, the older I got!”

Now moving towards his mid 70s, Joe is still training hard. He runs six times each week.

“I do some cross-training, and quite a bit of walking, and some cycling in the summer.”

He is self-coached.

Fuelling the training isn’t a problem and Joseph eats a lot of pasta, beans and lentils, tofu and tempeh, vegetable soup, rice, oatmeal and granola.

“Unfortunately, there are a lot of athletes, despite my achievements, that are still very skeptical about a vegetarian or vegan diet” he says. This seems incredible, given that many runners aim for a four-hour marathon, which Joseph has comfortably eclipsed at age 73.

Joseph has more to look forward to. “I am hoping to complete most, if not all, of the Six Star Medal by the Abbott World Marathon Majors” he says. This is a series of six high-profile marathons across the world.

He also wants to remind us that age is not the barrier some fear it to be.

“It is never too late to start or resume your journey, whatever age you are. Keep an open mind, when it comes to your fitness, or lifestyle choices. I was inspired to re-start running by my all -time Canadian hero, Terry Fox.”

Terry Fox was an inspirational young runner who fought cancer, losing a leg and eventually his life. He ran with one leg and caught the attention of millions.

Joe will continue to take on new challenges, and it will be fantastic to see how he fares in his upcoming events.

Similar Athletes

See all athletes