World’s oldest marathoner Fauja Singh, 101, blows into Surrey (with video)

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Marathoner Fauja Singh trains on the athletic track at Bear Creek Park in Surrey Sept. 25, 2012. Ric Ernst/PNG

It’s hard to believe Fauja Singh is the world’s oldest marathon runner as he steadily strides around the track at Bear Creek Park in Surrey.

At 101 years old, Singh is in the midsts of training for the Surrey International World Music Marathon on Sunday in Central City near Holland Park. But this is only going to be another one of many marathons for the cenetenarian. He runs to help raise funds for charities and promote healthy living.

“At this age it’s not like I’m someone who can hold a job or even run – but I’m running,” he told his granddaughter, Simmi Dhillon, in Punjabi.

Singh lives in London, England, but visits Surrey at least once a year to visit his children and this year it happened to coincide with the marathon.

Surrey city councillor, Tom Gill, is pleased to have Singh take part because he sends a great message to the community.

“He’s just been a really great icon for the world and especially some of the South Asian community,” Gill said. “(And it’s) not only his age, but in fact Mr. Singh made some of these changes relatively late in his years, (so) it doesn’t really matter what age you are at when you want to become active.”

Singh took up running about 17 years ago.

“It’s not me who decided to start running, it’s my god who decided for me,” he said. “It’s a good thing that I went on this path, I’m helping a lot of people out (and) I’m donating whatever I gather from these marathons.”

And that’s his only goal, to fundraise – timing and speed aren’t a factor.

“Since I’m here more of the community will maybe be inspired to come out and participate [and donate] to the charities,” he said.

Singh is active every day, walking about four to five hours daily and always watching what he eats.

He really starts training four months before a marathon. He’ll start with seven to eight mile runs in the months before, increasing the distance each Sunday. One week before the marathon he’ll complete 21 kilometres.

“After that everything is possible,” he said. “Forty-two kilometres is nothing.”





Johnny says:

Incredible stuff, dude hit the genetic lottery.

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