Fauja Singh, the world’s oldest marathon runner, ran his last race Sunday in Hong Kong with his 102 birthday in sight.
Singh hung up his running shoes after training hard as a competitive long distance runner.
Fauja took up the sport just over a decade ago and since then he’s completed nine successful marathons.
He says the secret is not his diet, or even his training routine, but simply his love for the sport.
“It’s because of the happiness I get out of it. If something makes you happy, you’ll do it well,” Singh says.
Singh’s fans have nicknamed him the ‘Turbaned Tornado’ and a biography about him carries the same name.
His achievements have inspired people around the world. However for him, it was a personal tragedy, the untimely death of his son that led him to take up the sport.
“Because after I suffered the tragic incident in my life, a traumatic experience, I took up running as a new focus in life. And then marathon running developed from there,” Singh says.
In 2011, he became the oldest person on record to complete a marathon at age 100, according to officials of the Toronto Waterfront Marathon.
His coach, Harmender Singh, has been working with him for the past 13 years.
“He’s been an absolute pleasure. He’s my best student, I would say, which is ironic because he’s twice my age,” Harmender says.
While Singh will continue to run for pleasure, he has decided it’s time to retire from competitive running.
He went to Hong Kong to run his final race, a 10k event. There was a moment of concern when Singh slipped, but he recovered and continued running.
Singh crossed the finish line in just over one hour and 32 minutes. Despite the fall, he completes it around four minutes faster than when he ran the race last year.
“Five or six kilometers into the race, I really decided to go for it. I had lots of power