Fauja Singh, 101-year-old marathoner, retires while still denied entry into Guinness Book of World Records
Two months shy of his 102nd birthday, 101-year-old Fauja Singh became the oldest man to finish a 10K in Hong Kong on Sunday. After the 10K, he announced he would be retiring from running.
“I am feeling a bit of happiness and a bit of sadness mixed together,” the Punjabi-speaking Singh said through his coach and interpreter, Harmander Singh. “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. And there will always be times in the future where I will be thinking, ‘Well, I used to do that (running).”
Singh said that although he’s retiring from marathons, he’s still going to run for fun.
At 5-foot-8 and 85 pounds, he said he’s still healthy and does not suffer from physical ailments, according to The Independent.
“Running is my life,” Singh said. “I will keep running to inspire the masses and for my personal health. I will keep running for at least four hours daily.”
“Nowadays, people are more interested in going to a gym, but I feel that if they exercise regularly on their own they can be physically and mentally strong. Daily exercise will keep you away from all diseases.”
Known as “the Turbaned Tornado,” Singh first started running when he was 89 to deal with the deaths of his wife and son in a short amount of time. He especially struggled after the death of his son, Kuldip, to a freak accident in 1994. Kuldip was decapitated by a piece of metal blown by strong wind in the middle of a storm. Singh witnessed the accident just arm lengths away.
Singh, a great-great-grandfather, ran his 10K in 1 hour, 32 minutes and 28 seconds. In 2011, he ran in a full marathon in Toronto at age 100. However, the Guinness World Records reportedly did not recognize his achievement because Singh couldn’t provide a birth certificate.
His British passport says his date of birth is April 1, 1911. Meanwhile, the Indian government reported in a letter that birth records were not kept in 1911.
Singh also said he regretted not being able to speak and read English. He reportedly immigrated to England sometime in the 1990s, but said he wasn’t sure on the exact year through an interpreter. He now lives in Ilford, England with the family of one of his other sons, Sukhjinder Singh.