Monday, October 17, 2011

100 Year Old Man Sets Marathon Record

Fauja Singh grimaces as he crosses the finish line Sunday in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Fauja Singh finishes in 8 hours to become oldest person to complete full marathon
Fauja Singh secured a spot in the Guiness World Book of Records on Sunday at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

The 100-year-old accomplished an amazing feat, completing the gruelling 42.195-kilometre marathon and becoming the oldest person ever to complete a full-distance marathon.

It took Singh over eight hours to cross the finish line — more than six hours after Kenya's Kenneth Mungara won the event for the fourth straight year — and he was the last competitor to complete the course. But his time wasn't nearly remarkable as the accomplishment itself.

"Beating his original prediction, he's overjoyed," said coach and translator Harmander Singh. "Earlier, just before we came around the [final] corner, he said, 'Achieving this will be like getting married again.'

"He's absolutely overjoyed, he's achieved his life-long wish."

Although event workers dismantled the barricades along the finish line and took down sponsor banners even as Fauja Singh made his way up the final few hundred metres of the race, a throng of media, family, friends and supporters were there when Fauja Singh made marathon history.

And Fauja Singh, who only speaks Punjabi, also surprised himself. Through his interpreter, he said he had set a goal of finishing the race in about nine hours.

"He said he achieved this through the help of God but even God must be getting fed up of helping him," Harmander Singh said, drawing chuckles from assembled media after the race.

Sunday's run was Fauja Singh's eighth marathon — he ran his first at the tender age of 89 — and wasn't the first time he set a record. In the 2003 Toronto event, he set the mark in the 90-plus category, finishing the race in five hours 40 minutes and one second.

And on Thursday in Toronto, Fauja Singh — whose first name means soldier — broke world records for runners older than 100 in eight different distances ranging from 100 metres to 5,000 metres.
Wow! What an accomplishment.

This gives me some inspiration to keep going for a few more years - hopefully 40 or so.....

Here is the video of Fauja finishing:

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