100-Year-Old Runner Completes Marathon
100 Year-Old Runner
Healingtalks’ Complete Coverage of the Story
Nathan Batalion, Global Health Activist, Healtingtalks Editor
(Healingtalks) Fauja Singh, a 100-year-old runner who lives in Britain earned a spot in the Guiness World Book of Records at the Toronto Marathon. Running along Toronto’s picturesque waterfront, Fauja Singh became the first man on the planet to finish a 42K, 26.2 mile run at age 100. Family, friends and supporters greeted Singh when he finished the race.
Video of Fauja Singh coming across the finish line:
Putting Fauja to the Test at 100
People might doubt Fauja age, but he travels with a passport and with the telegram from The Queen which marked his 100th birthday. “He doesn’t think of himself as old and dresses to the ‘T’ in Boss and Armani,” said trainer Harmander Singh
People ask him why he still runs, and he answers that he’d heard in San Francisco woman wanted to have a baby at 75, “and if a woman can have a baby at 75, then a man can have a dream to run a marathon at 100.” He cited the legend of the persistence and devotion of Sikh martyr Baba Deep Singh, whose head was almost severed in a battle, yet still found the strength to put the head on his shoulders and scare off attackers before reaching his goal and finally succumbing. “That is the heritage that we are made of,” Fauja said.
Fauja had blood tests and a bone density test when runner was 99. Doctors, kept blind to the identity of their subjects, felt they were dealing with a 40-year-old in the blood tests. On bone density, Singh’s left leg was found to be comparable to that of a 35-year-old; his right leg had that of a 25-year-old.
More than six hours into the race, however, and at a distance of about 35K or 22 miles it appeared as if Singh would be forced to stop. But he continued on, eventually finishing at a time of about eight hours and 25 minutes, more than six hours after Kenya’s Kenneth Mungara won the event. He finished in 3,850th place, ahead of five other competitors.
Singh who only speaks Punjabi stated in his native tongue, “Beating his original prediction, he’s absolutely overjoyed…having achieved his lifelong wish,” according to Harmander Singh.
Earlier, just before we came around the (final) corner, Singh said, ‘Achieving this will be like getting married again.’ ”
Fauja Singh’s Life Story
Singh is a pensioner in England who was a farmer in Punjab, India. He took up running in 10- when he moved to the UK and after his son and wife died. Originally he wanted to overcome depression after his tragic loss. He began to competitively run in 1989. Currently Singh practices by running 16k daily or about 10 miles a day. The centenarian was born on a farm in India in on April 1, 1911. The run marked the eighth marathon for Singh and he stands five foot eight inches tall and weighed in about 115 pounds at the marathon.
Fauja’s Demolishing of Running Records
The week before Singh demolished the records for 100-year-old men in eight sprinting distances at Scarborough’s Birchmount Stadium track.[i] This included running distances as short as 100 meters and as long as 5,000 meters. He already owns a world record for fastest marathon run in the 90-year-old plus category after finishing in five hours, 40 minutes and one second in 2003 at the age of 92, also at the Toronto Marathon. He also set a record for runners over 90 in the half-marathon in 2004 (2 hours 29 minutes 59 seconds).
Another Marathon Planned
Earlier in September, Singh also signed up for the 2012 Edinburgh marathon and as part of a four man relay team with an average age of 86. The 5-foot-8 Singh said he hopes to participate in the torch relay for the 2012 London Olympics. He carried the torch during the relay for the 2004 Athens Games.
Fauja Singh’s Secrets
Among his “secrets” for staying fit, Fauja Singh is a vegetarian who eats ginger curry and toast daily and drinks ample cups of tea to prepare for his daily training runs.
“I am not a learned person in any shape or form. To me, the secret is being happy, doing charity work, staying healthy and being positive. “Be grateful for everything you have, stay away from people who are negative, stay smiling and keep running.”
Alan Brookes, race director for the Toronto marathon, said Fauja Singh is an inspiration to all athletes, young and old.
Through his running, Fauja Singh aims to raise money for local charities including, the Guru Gobind Singh Children’s Foundation, which has a mandate to help children meet basic needs.
Fauja added, “I won’t stop running until I die.” Focused on finishing and not setting records, Fauja also stated that “getting records is God’s will. Part of it is I have no expectations, only a wish to do it and God made it possible.”
Fauja (whose name means “soldier”) has an authorized biography entitled The Turbaned Tornado, an apt nickname.
“He’s a remarkable human being,” added Brookes the race director, to the accolades.
“He’s having a great impact around the world on our sport but also much broader than that … to show what you can do with dedication, determination and a good dose of courage.”
Keywords: oldest marathon runner, oldest runner, 100 year old runner, 100 year old marathon runner, Fauja Singh sets world record,
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[i]World age-group records pending for 100-year-old runner, after runs by Fauja Singh, Oct. 13, 2011:
- 100 meters — 23.40 seconds (previous 29.83)
- 200 meters — 52.23 seconds (previous 77.59 seconds)
- 400 meters — 2:13.48 (previous 3:41.00)
- 800 meters — 5:32.18 (no previous record)
- 1,500 meters — 11:27.00 (previous 16:46.00)
- mile 11:53.45 (no previous record)
- 3K — 24:52.47 (no previous record)
- 5K — 49:57.39 (no previous)