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Running For His Life:
Fauja Singh, 101

QISHIN TARIQ

 

 

 

Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

A tragedy drove the world's oldest marathon runner to the sport but running has now become Fauja Singh's “medicine” and is the secret to his longevity.

The 101-year-old said he only started running in his 80s, after his eldest son Kuldeep Singh died in an accident.

“Running helped me cope with the loss,” said the Sikh-Briton, who was in Malaysia for the Chardi Kalaa Fun Run at Padang Astaka here on Sunday, December 2, 2012.

“Running and walking have become my medicine and are part of my routine now,” he said. “I simply have to do it.”

Fauja added that he walked an average four hours a day but would go “all out” and run for 10 miles once every eight days.

The centenarian said he started with 100m sprints until a friend recommended that he tried running marathons.

Fauja, who was an Olympic torchbearer at the Athens Games in 2004 and again in London this year, looks at it as an opportunity to represent the worldwide Sikh community.

Nicknamed “The Turbaned Tornado”, he said other runners' good wishes gave him the energy to keep on running.

“My favourite marathon experience was in New York after 9/11, where turbans and beards were suddenly being looked upon with suspicion.

“People told me to pull out and even said I might be shot at. I decided to take my chances, as what better way to die than while running.

“To win anything, you must accept death; consider each run your last,” he said. “With that mindset, what is a little fatigue or pain, or even a broken leg.”

Fauja flagged off the 2012 Chardi Kalaa Fun Run which had five categories.

Organiser Taranjit Kaur, 27, said more than 700 people registered for the run. The theme “101 and running” is dedicated to Fauja Singh.

 

[Courtesy: The Star, Malaysia]

December 4, 2012

 

 

 

Conversation about this article

1: Harinder Singh 1469 (New Delhi, India), December 04, 2012, 11:08 AM.

I think we are missing the point here ... He is not just an athlete ... he is a force capable of changing us all for the better. "Noble" is the word that describes him best! The graces come naturally to him. His body language alone is a speech for the betterment of humanity!

2: Rosalia Scalia (Baltimore, Maryland, USA), December 04, 2012, 2:58 PM.

Fauja Singh is teaching us all how to age gracefully while remaining active physically and mentally. He is an inspiration and represents the antithesis of many in the west who run to the plastic surgeon instead of the gym, to continue to look and act and be younger as they age.

3: Manjeet Shergill (Singapore), December 04, 2012, 4:52 PM.

fauja singh is simply the best.

4: Pritam Singh Grewal (Canada), December 04, 2012, 5:45 PM.

Fauja Singh is Guru's Sava Lakh Fauj.

5: Jagdeep Singh (Punjab), December 04, 2012, 8:55 PM.

He is simply dynamite in his ability to explode so many myths. Our youngsters could learn from him and start running and hitting the gym instead of boozing and taking drugs. He is simply an inspiration for us all ...

6: Dr Birinder Singh Ahluwalia (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), December 05, 2012, 3:56 AM.

An even better title for the article would have been: "Running and Enjoying His Life".

7: Sarjit Kaur (Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.), December 05, 2012, 11:22 AM.

Chic Sikh of the Year! :)

8: Daman (London, England), December 06, 2012, 2:15 AM.

Blessed are those who accept and rise above the mortality of life.

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