100-year-old Goodmayes marathon runner told he cannot have world record

A 100-year-old who realised a “lifelong dream” when he completed a marathon has been told his achievement is not a world record because he cannot produce his birth certificate.

Fauja Singh, of Goodmayes attracted worldwide attention when he crossed the finish line of the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 8hrs 25mins on October 16.

But claims he is the world’s oldest marathon runner will not be recognised by the Guinness Book of Records.

Fauja’s trainer Harmander Singh, from running group Sikhs in the City, reacted to the decision by saying the firm was being “a little unhelpful”.

“In India in 1911 hardly anyone got a birth certificate,” he said.

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“He’s got a British passport and two Indian passports and I think they are just being a little unhelpful.

“Fauja didn’t ask to be part of Guinness, they came to us.

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“He doesn’t even know who they are.

“In the running world he is recognised and that is what matters.”

Fauja, who took part in a celebrity relay in Frankfurt, Germany on Sunday, has now got his sights set on completing the London Marathon next year, an event he has taken part in on six occasions.

Harmander said: “He has said he would like to do it God willing.

“It would be great but we will have to see how he is nearer the time.”

Harmander said it was “touch and go” whether Fauja would complete the Toronto Marathon and started telling him the finishing line was “just around the corner” with six miles to go.

“He really did not want to give up and was helped by the public support which was overwhelming,” he said.

“He said he was praying to God he would make it and was so relieved when he did.

“I asked him how he felt when he crossed the line and he said it was like getting married again.

“He was able to raise his hands for the first minute but then he did really want to sit down.”

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