September 20 2014 Latest news:
Monday, August 18, 2014
A centenarian marathon runner is showing no signs of slowing down as he prepares to open a fun run in East London.
103-year-old Fauja Singh, who is the world’s oldest marathon runner, will be the official starter at the 5km Big Fun Run at Victoria Park in Tower Hamlets.
Mr Singh, who lives in Goodmayes, completed the London Marathon at the age of 89 before retiring after the Hong Kong marathon last year.
He finished the London Marathon in six hours two minutes in 2003 and his marathon record, for age 90-plus, is five hours 40 minutes at the age of 92. Mr Singh is also the eldest of a group of Sikhs who call themselves “Sikhs in the City”, formed over 10 years ago. He now runs for pleasure, his own health and helps inspire others for charities.
Mr Singh said: “I live in the East End of London so being local makes being the starter here so much more of a proud moment. What’s great about today is that you don’t need to be an experienced runner to take part.
“It’s lovely seeing all the charities come today raising lots of funds and awareness for good causes.”
Mr Singh, who was born in India in 1911, took up running in his eighties to distract himself from the trauma of losing his son, daughter and wife in quick succession.
While he no longer runs, he keeps active by walking the same distance every day.
The Big Fun Run, which starts in Victoria Park at 11am, is among 17 Big Fun Runs across the UK staged from July until October.
More than 7,000 people took part in the nationwide events last year and more than £200,000 was raised for charity.