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Britain's Most Popular Sikh
The oldest runner in the London Marathon



Fauja Singh

Toronto, October 14 - Singh, whose biography is entitled 'The Turbaned Tornado', finished in five hours, 40 minutes and one second in his last marathon, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

That was in 2003, when he was a stripling of 92.

Now, he's hoping to set a Guinness World Record as the oldest person ever to finish the course.

Singh, who speaks only Punjabi, was described as "really happy, and looking forward to it," by his coach-translator Harmander Singh, the CBC said.

Singh, a British citizen, was born on a farm in India in April 1911 and is 173cm and 52kg.

His coach said part of his secret is that he eats a light diet of mainly tea, toast and curry, according to the CBC.

Singh took up running about 20 years ago after losing his wife and child to "tragic circumstances," the coach added.

The CBC also reported that during a series of lead up runs, Singh broke world records for runners older than 100 in eight different distances, ranging from 100 meters to 5,000 meters. --

More About Fauja Singh

He replaced David Beckham as Adidas’s new poster boy. On the Adidas billboards, spread across London, he was sitting cross-legged, as if cooling his heals after a day’s work out, peeping over Londoners, tired and overworked, telling them the secrets of his unfailing energy.

Fauja Singh, Britain’s most popular Sikh, is now 100, the oldest runner in the London Marathon. And he is threatening to break his own world record of 5.40 hours in the 90 plus age bracket. While running Marathon races in London, New York, and Toronto, he raised thousands of pounds for various charities promoting Sikh culture around the world. He has also raised money for BLISS, a charity dedicated to the care for premature babies. He describes it as the "oldest running for the youngest."

Fauja Singh’s jogging skills were developed on an Indian farm in Punjab, and then at the magical age of 81, when he moved to the UK, his love for the sport became more “serious.”

Fauja Singh, born April 1, 1911, is a Sikh Marathon runner in his nineties from India who is a world-record holder in his age bracket. His current personal best time for the London Marathon is 6 hours, 2 minutes, and his Marathon record, for age 90 plus, is 5 hours, 40 minutes.

Fauja Singh shot to fame, when at age 89, he completed the grueling 26.2 mile distance in 6 hours, 54 minutes. This knocked 58 minutes off the previous world best for anyone in the 90 plus age bracket.

The career of this extraordinary Marathon runner is closely supervised by his personal trainer Harminder Singh. He says, "He can still run for a few more years. And perhaps he might be the oldest man to run a Marathon."

Fauja Singh came to London in 1992 to live with his son after his wife's death in his village of Jalandhar. He said, "Sitting at home was really killing. Most elderly people in Britain eat a rich diet, don’t move about and only travel in cars, and that makes them sick."

He wasn’t prepared to go the same way. So he took up jogging initially to beat the boredom of sitting at home.

"I never thought of running a Marathon then. But slowly it grew."

What surprises many is that he supports his eight stone and six feet tall body frame with a very simple vegetarian diet.

"I am very careful about different foods. My diet is simple phulka, dal, green vegetables, yogurt and milk. I do not touch parontas, pakoras, rice or any other fried food. I take lots of water and tea with ginger."

And that smile is eternally fixed beneath his silver haired beard. Perhaps that’s the reason behind his strikingly inspiring and positive attitude.

"I go to bed early taking the name of my Rabba (God) as I don’t want all those negative thoughts crossing my mind."

Doesn’t he find it difficult to cover 26 miles at this age?

"The first 20 miles are not difficult. As for the last six miles, I run while talking to God."

Adidas signed him up for its ‘Nothing Is Impossible’ advertising campaign. He won’t reveal how much money the deal involves, but says that a large part of his earnings goes to charity. Fauja Singh says, ”I won’t stop running until I die."

His next target, God willing, is to be the oldest Marathon runner ever. Fauja Singh hopes to return in 2009 to break the record for the oldest Marathon runner, presently held by a 98-year-old Greek athlete. --

Fauja Singh's profile as found in Face Book:

Born: April 1, 1911 in India

Former Occupation: Farmer

Running Career: Rediscovered at age 81

Diet: Ginger Curry - Vegetarian

Marathons Run: London (5), Toronto (1), New York (1)

Marathon Debut: London, 2000 - Age 89

London Marathon Personal Best: 6 hrs 2 min

London Flora Marathon 2000 - 6 hrs 54 min

London Flora Marathon 2001 - 6 hrs 54 min

London Flora Marathon 2002 - 6 hrs 45 min

Bupa Great North Run (Half Marathon ) 2002 - 2 hrs 39 min

London Flora Marathon 2003 - 6 hrs 2 min

Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2003 - 5 hrs 40 min

New York City Marathon 2003 - 7 hrs 35 min

London Flora Marathon 2004 - 6 hrs 7 min

Glasgow City Half Marathon 2004 - 2 hrs 33 min

Capital Radio Help a London Child 10,000m 2004 - 68 min

Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon 2004 - 2 hrs 29 min 59 sec

Go man, go!

The Turbaned Torpedo turns 103 this year, 2014.

 

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