Centenarian sets record by running a marathon
Fauja Singh finished 3,849th and beat his projected time of 9 hours.
Mon, Oct 17, 2011 at 04:58 PM
NO SIGNS OF STOPPING: Fauja Singh crossing the finish line of a Toronto marathon, making him the oldest person to ever complete a full marathon. (Image: YouTube)
TORONTO — A British centenarian of Indian ancestry became the oldest person ever to complete a full 42-kilometer (26-mile) marathon over the weekend in Toronto, Canadian media said Monday.
Fauja Singh, 100, took eight hours to cross the finish line — more than six hours after Kenya's Kenneth Mungara won the event for the fourth straight year.
Although finishing 3,849th, Singh is "overjoyed" about beating his predicted time, his coach Harmander Singh told the daily Toronto Star.
The runner had set a goal of finishing the race in about nine hours. "He's absolutely overjoyed, he's achieved his life-long wish," said his coach.
"He was so determined to finish the race. The challenge for him was to finish the race, not to finish the race fast," the coach also told AFP.
"The crowd was most encouraging," he added.
Fans cheered his accomplishment in newspapers and online. "Congrats Fauja Singh, you're such an inspiration!" said one Facebook comment among 17,000.
"May (God) bless you with many more years of a healthy, active life!" said another.
Sunday's Toronto marathon was Singh's eighth. The five-foot-eight, 115-pound runner, affectionately known as the "Turbaned Tornado," entered his first race at age 89 after losing his wife and child.
He hopes next to carry the torch at the 2012 Olympics in London.
Copyright 2011 AFP Global Edition