The world’s oldest marathon runner and a world record holder in multiple age brackets, Fauja Singh celebrates his 109th birthday on April 01, 2020 (Wednesday). Born in 1911 in the village of Beas Pind in Jalandhar, Punjab in British India, Fauja was skinny and sick as a child and was often teased and bullied by other children, who nicknamed him “danda” a Punjabi term for ‘thin or stick.’ He could not walk until the age of five and even when he was able to walk, Fauja couldn’t walk for long distances.
He dreamt of becoming a runner when he grew up but had to give up that dream because of the freedom struggle. And it wasn’t until the death of his fifth son to a construction accident that Fauja rekindled his dream of becoming a runner. On his birthday, let’s take a look at some interesting facts about the Turbaned Tornado.
With age catching up and Fauja getting more burdened emotionally with the loss of his wife, one of Fauja’s five sons, who lived in England took his father and settled in London. It was here that Fauja ran his first race – the London Marathon – that gave a new lease to his grieving life.
Interestingly, it is said when Fauja first met his coach Harmander Singh, an athletic coach and a former marathon runner, he was in a three-piece suit. At the age of 93, Fauja Singh ran his first marathon and completed in 6 hours and 54 minutes – a world record beating the previous record by 58 seconds. Take a look at some lesser-known facts about Fauja Singh.
Fauja Singh was born on April 1, 1911, at Beas Pind, Jalandhar in Punjab, British India
Fauja Singh, the world's oldest runner, was the first 100-year-old to finish a marathon.
In 2004, Fauja Singh appeared in an advertising campaign for Sportswear Manufacturing Giant Adidas alongside David Beckham and Muhammad Ali
At the age of 93, Singh Completed a marathon in 6 hours and 54 minutes, a world record for anyone in the 90-plus age bracket
Fauja Singh holds UK records for 200 m, 400 m, 800 m, a mile and 3000 m for his age group
At the age of 100, Fauja Singh created eight world age-group records in a single day
Fauja Singh was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in 2015 for his contribution to sports and charity
Since then Singh has gone to create records in 200m, 400m, 800m, a mile and 3000m for his age groups. Interestingly, Fauja Singh creates all those records in a single marathon run. He later went t become the first 100-year-old to complete a marathon when he finished the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 8 hours, 11 minutes and 17 seconds.