Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Inspirational Runners - Fauja Singh Edition

In keeping with my weekly Tuesday blog post featuring inspirational runners I am going to talk about Fauja Singh - the world's oldest marathon runner. Singh is currently 101 years old and recently ran his last full marathon.

Are you kidding me?! Dude's been alive for a century and he's still running marathons?! I would kiss this man's feet; even if they stink as bad as mine do after a run, I would still kiss this man's feet.

Singh is originally from India and currently resides in Ilford, East London. He ran his last full marathon, the Virgin London Marathon, in 7 hours 49 minutes and 21 seconds. In his gender category, Singh finished 36,687th out of approximately 37,500 runners. Singh is now retired from full marathon running, but plans to continue participating in shorter runs from 5km to half marathons. 

Seriously?! If a 101 year-old man can run a half marathon without dying, surely I can...right?!

In 2011, Singh set the Guinness Record for oldest man to complete a marathon in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. In 2012, he broke his own record. Sadly, the Guinness Book of Records will not recognise his achievement because age-related events need to be verified with a birth certificate which Singh does not have. Admittedly, however, Singh had no idea that the Guinness Records even existed until he was told about them. He is quoted as saying: "My job is to run and I will continue to do that. Recognition by any book or agency will not affect my spirit towards running" (Daily News and Analysis, India).

Singh's biography is entitled Turbaned Tornado and it attempts to capture the centenarian's marathon spirit. Singh began running at age 80 after the death of his wife (if he can start at 80, I think I can start at 28) and trains every day, running at least 10 miles. Singh was a torch bearer in the 2004 Athens Olympics and hopes to once again bear the Olympic torch in the upcoming London Games

Wise words from Fauja Singh: "Be grateful for everything you have, stay away from people who are negative, stay smiling, and keep running." ... and donate to Brandy's cause to keep her running! (Ok, maybe I made that part up, but I'm sure Fauja would approve of you supporting me.)

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