World’s oldest marathoner, Fauja Singh, runs his last race

Fauja Singh (India Times photo)

Fauja Singh (India Times photo)

If you’ve followed distance running much, you may have heard about Fauja Singh, the oldest marathoner in the world.

Singh, 101, took up distance running at age 89 and became the oldest man to ever run a marathon in Toronto in 2011. He was 100 on race day.

On Sunday, Singh ran his last race, the 10K event at the Hong Kong Marathon, according to The Associated Press.

Singh, originally from India, is a Sikh who runs his races wearing the traditional turban of his religion. That, plus his advanced age, make him stand out from other runners.

“I will remember this day. I will miss it,” the AP quoted Singh as saying after crossing the finish line.

He was more introspective during a pre-race interview, saying, “I am feeling a bit of happiness and a bit of sadness mixed together. I am happy that I am retiring at the top of the game but I am sad that the time has come for me to not be part of it.”

One thing I found interesting was the backstory of why he took up running. The AP report said he did so to overcome depression that ensued after the deaths of his wife and son. It was said the 1994 death of his son hit him particularly hard.

He’d later moved to the UK. While living in London, fellow members of the Sikh community urged him to take up running.

Singh has run nine marathons since 2000, with his first being the London Marathon. He finished Sunday’s 10K in 1 hour, 32 minutes and 28 seconds, the AP reported.

He said he hopes people won’t forget him just because he has stopped participating in organized races. I doubt many will, given the inspirational nature of his story.

Bob Doucette

On Twitter @RMHigh7088

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