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Above: in Hong Kong yesterday.

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The Last Hurrah?
Or is There a New Career in the Offing?
Fauja Singh, 101, at the Crossroads ... Again!

ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

 

 

Sunday, February 24, 2013, Fauja Singh says as he approaches the age of 102, marks the end of his competitive career as a runner.

Understandable.

But where does he go from here? A new career, perhaps? After all, he started his world-famous career in running at the age of 89!

He has unlimited options. A lecture circuit on "How to Do PR Without Even Trying"? "Lessons in Humility"? "You Don't Need a Dictionary To Be Understood"? "Living Sikhi"?

The possibilities are endless.

 

 

The world's oldest marathon runner ran his last race on Sunday, February 24, 2013, at the age of 101.

Fauja Singh finished the Hong Kong marathon's 10-kilometer (6.25-mile) race in 1 hour, 32 minutes, 28 seconds.

Fauja Singh, a Sikh-Briton with a saffron turban and a flowing white beard, followed the route along the northern lip of Hong Kong island.

He was accompanied by a group from the city's local Sikh community, joining about 72,000 other runners taking part in the marathon.

The Punjab-born runner, nicknamed the Turbaned Tornado, had said that he would hang up his sneakers after the race in the southern Chinese city, just before his 102nd birthday.

"I will remember this day. I will miss it," he said minutes after crossing the finish line.

"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," Fauja Singh said in a pre-race interview. "And there will always be times in the future where I will be thinking, 'Well, I used to do that (running),' " the Punjabi-speaking runner said through his coach and interpreter, Harmander Singh.

Fauja Singh took up running at the age of 89 as a way to get over depression after his wife and son died in quick succession in India.

In 2000, he ran the London marathon, his first, and went on to do eight more. His best time was 5:40 at the 2003 Toronto marathon.

"From a tragedy has come a lot of success and happiness," he Singh said before the Hong Kong race yesterday as he explained how running has changed his life, allowing an illiterate farmer to travel the world, meet dignitaries and stay in five-star hotels.

Following his retirement from racing, he said he hoped "people will remember me and not forget me." He also wanted people to continue to invite him to events "rather than forget me altogether just because I don't run anymore."

 

Here at sikhchic.com, and on behalf of the millions of well-wishers around the world, we wish Sardar Fauja Singh God-speed!

 

[Courtesy: Associated Press. Edited for sikhchic.com]

February 25, 2013

Conversation about this article

1: K P Singh (Indianapolis, Indiana, USA), February 25, 2013, 7:50 AM.

Sardar Fauja Singh ji: Your trail of glory has a lasting and timeless glow that will only shine brighter with time as it takes on its rightful aura of an incredible true legend. Your all-embracing nature and divinely-blessed persona will continue to stretch across and transcend the frontiers of race, culture, gender, and nationality, for you are a living monument to something so rare and precious at this time in human crossroads and struggles. Your unforgettable achievements, your humility and humanity will continue to inspire generations to come and to reflect on your challenge to us all: "Impossible is nothing" and to go strive for the impossible and explore new and daring "roads less traveled." You are only retiring from competitive running, not from life, fun, laughter, teaching and staying as an exemplary "icon of courage" to pursue what can give meaning to your life after a tragic turn of events, or to explore a new dream with another look at life's options and promise. Now, that has a timeless message for people caught in difficult situations to rise above those circumstances and events and to attempt to conquer insurmountable hurdles with their creative responses to overcome the trial of the moment; with Satguru in your heart and encouragement from friends to go forward and do something that serves and nurtures life and blesses your own body, mind and spirit. The world will not forget this wisdom and testimony, nor your simple decency, your Punjabi resilience, your radiant Sikh persona, your lessons in daring, humility and humanity, your generosity of spirit and faith in a higher purpose. We can be certain that you will continue to guide us for years to come, invite us to new and unimagined crossroads with your much-needed message and personal testimony of how ordinary men and women and common endeavors can lead to waiting uncommon thresholds and amazing triumphs. Congratulations and thank you, Sardar Fauja Singh and your wonderful trainer, Harmander Singh ji. God bless both of you a long life of continued seva to uplift humanity in ways that make sense to millions and pride in the discovery of their own potentials to generations. May Satguru's Grace be always upon you.

2: Jajjit Singh (Hong Kong), February 27, 2013, 3:48 AM.

It was my pleasure to have been able to run along with Bapu Fauja Singh ji. It was my first 10km at the age of 56. I got inspiration from Bapu ji and will see that I continue to do the 10km every year.

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Or is There a New Career in the Offing?
Fauja Singh, 101, at the Crossroads ... Again! "









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