Sunday, October 23, 2011

a marathon at 100 years old!?!?!?

i wanted to write a post about the 100-year old Fauja Singh who finished the Toronto marathon last week. most of you probably already heard about this, but for those of you who've been living in a cave you might find this of interest.

admittedly, this post is a little late, but i wanted to wait until they could confirm his age. unfortunately, it appears they can't (Guinness World Records requires that he show his birth certificate, but he's unable to furnish one: ).  however, based on what i've seen, i've come around to taking him at his word and figure i'm willing to accept that he's 100.

you can check out the news piece on him:
there's also a video from CBC news:

i have to say that this is flat-out impressive. yeah, sure, some might say he took more than 8 hours, and that you can walk a marathon in that time.  but 100 years is still 100 years, and i'd challenge anybody to do a marathon at that age.  i know people in their 50s who can't do it--and i even know people in their 20s who can't do it.

what gets me even more about this story is that 1) he only started running at the age of 89, and 2) this is his 8th marathon. !?!?!?!?!? holy smokes!

it just goes to show you: it's never too late to start sports.  no matter what your age, you can still start, you can still improve, and you can still participate in an active lifestyle, and do so in a way that is rewarding and meaningful.

he's my idol.

100-year-old marathoner finishes race
Associated Press

Toronto (AP) — A 100-year-old runner became the oldest person to complete a full-distance marathon when he finished the race in Toronto on Sunday.

Fauja Singh earned a spot in the Guinness World Records for his accomplishment.

It took Singh more than eight hours to cross the finish line — more than six hours after Kenya's Kenneth Mungara won the event for the fourth straight year — and he was the last competitor to complete the course.

But his time wasn't nearly as remarkable as the accomplishment.

Event workers dismantled the barricades along the finish line and took down sponsor banners even as Singh made his way up the final few hundred yards of the race.

Family, friends and supporters greeted Singh when he finished the race.

"Beating his original prediction, he's overjoyed," his coach and translator Harmander Singh said. "Earlier, just before we came around the (final) corner, he said, 'Achieving this will be like getting married again.'

"He's absolutely overjoyed, he's achieved his lifelong wish."

Sunday's run was Singh's eighth marathon — he ran his first at age 89 — and wasn't the first time he set a record.

In the 2003 Toronto event, he set the mark in the 90-plus category, finishing the race in 5 hours, 40 minutes and 1 second.

And on Thursday in Toronto, Singh broke world records for runners older than 100 in eight different distances ranging from 100 meters to 5,000 meters.

The 5-foot-8 Singh said he's hopeful his next project will be participating in the torch relay for the 2012 London Games. He carried the torch during the relay for the 2004 Athens Games.

No comments: