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Old 5th December 2012, 08:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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101-year-old marathoner breezes through S'pore



SINGAPORE - You think running the 2.4km during national service within a reasonable time is difficult?

Try running alongside 101-year-old Fauja Singh - in a 10km marathon.

It didn't help my fragile confidence that the world's media calls Fauja the "Turbaned Tornado", who is also a former Olympic torch-bearer.

Fauja has run nine marathons.

He has broken eight world records such as the 100m, 200m and 5km timings for his age group (100-year-old), with only a few minutes rest in between events.

The only reason he does not have a Guinness World Record is because he was born before birth certificates in his home existed.

The run on Sunday, which was part of the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore, took him about one and a half hours.

I first see him at the flag-off point at Esplanade Drive leaning against a railing, surrounded by a crowd of fans waiting to shake his hand and take a picture with him.

He bears it all with a smile and a nod, casually stretching his legs.

Looking sagely, his white beard flows down his chest and his bright yellow turban makes him instantly recognisable in a sea of blue running tops.

Translator

I introduce myself to his son and translator, MrSukhjinder Singh, 53. At that moment a foghorn blows and, amid the Baha Men demanding to know "who let the dogs out", the sea of runners surge forward.

And we're off.

Fauja runs, with Mr Sukhjinder Singh not far ahead.

Fingers curled into loose fists by his side, Fauja maintains a steady pace, his eyes completely focused on what lies ahead.

He takes small steps, like he's not in a rush. He gamely keeps the pace, slowly jogging past people who have already started walking.

But what he does goes beyond running.

Fauja inspires people.

He is more than a runner. He is a symbol.

The tiny fact that we are running a race does not deter his fans.

Every now and then a runner comes up asking for a photo.

Others simply want to pat him on his back, give him a thumbs up and tell him that he is doing a fantastic job.

People going in the other direction clap and cheer when they see him.

A team of medical professionals chant his name as we run by. It is not their job to cheer us on, but they do it anyway.

Fauja waves, raising a hand in acknowledgement like a king greeting his subjects.

Perspiration pouring down my face, my legs show their disapproval for putting them through this. And we are only about halfway there.

I look up, wondering if Fauja is suffering as badly as Iam.

He isn't. Although his skin has taken on a slight pinkish tint, he isn't perspiring at all in spite of the running tights he is wearing beneath the uniform and the turban.

I'm 19. He is 101 - and outrunning me. Something is very wrong.

Somewhere about the 6km mark, I see a man running out of gas.

He is wringing perspiration out of a black bandana and his eyes have taken on that glassy look of someone who does not want to be doing this.

I slow down to talk to him and right then, Fauja plods past, making his slow, steady way onward.

"That's him?" says the man. "He's a hundred years old?"

"Hundred and one," I reply.

A slightly pained look crosses the man's face.

"All right," he says with a short laugh. "Can't lose to him!"

With that, he starts jogging again.

Fauja's back seems to have an effect on laggards.

Mr Sukhjinder Singh does not leave Fauja's side except to get him water, with one exception when he reappears sporting festive reindeer horns on his head. The horns were handed out for free.

Fauja runs into the home stretch to a hero's welcome.

The master of ceremony tells the crowd that a 101-year-old runner is coming in and they crane their necks for a better view as they carry him past the finishing line with their applause and cheers.

He crosses the finish line without fanfare. It is simply something he has done and will likely do again.

We have covered 10km in about 95 minutes and I ask him how he feels he did.

"He's quite pleased with himself, he enjoyed the run," Mr Sukhjinder Singh tells me.

"We wanted to finish it in 90 minutes and that is pretty much what we did." He also said that the only difficulty Fauja complained about was the humidity.

There wasn't much time to chat. The two of them were rushing to Kuala Lumpur to catch another race.

My last question before they left was how he thought I did.

Fauja laughs, showing a mouthful of teeth, and says something in Punjabi.

"Well done," Mr Sukhjinder Singh translates with a smile. "Run the full one next time."

And the crazy thing is - I just might.

That's the impact the Tornado has had on me.

Reference:http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest%...04-387528.html

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Old 5th December 2012, 01:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 101-year-old marathoner breezes through S'pore

Its amazing how he is fitter than most people not even half his age.

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Old 5th December 2012, 01:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I can't even complete 10km... He's awesome...

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Old 5th December 2012, 02:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Saw this on tv. Apparently he took up running when he was 88 or somewhere arnd there and he completed 21km in 5 hours.

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Old 5th December 2012, 02:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 101-year-old marathoner breezes through S'pore

He so strong, still can alive until 101 year old!!~

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Old 5th December 2012, 09:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 101-year-old marathoner breezes through S'pore

Wow i dont even know if i am still alive at that age

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Old 5th December 2012, 10:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 101-year-old marathoner breezes through S'pore

Shit I'm such a failure in comparison..

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Old 6th December 2012, 01:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 101-year-old marathoner breezes through S'pore

Superman! He is plain awesome!

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Old 7th December 2012, 09:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 101-year-old marathoner breezes through S'pore

He got a nice nick name also Turbaned Tornado!! anyway he already strong man that still alive.~

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Old 7th December 2012, 09:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 101-year-old marathoner breezes through S'pore

haha ==
im very terrible at running . i can't run for long ...

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Old 8th December 2012, 03:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: 101-year-old marathoner breezes through S'pore

Very strong and healthy man indeed. I hope to be like him as well.

Sadly, I think he should be recognized.

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