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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

World’s oldest marathoner wants to run with PM

Gurpreet Singh Mehak, Hindustan Times  Fatehgarh Sahib, January 28, 2013
First Published: 21:48 IST(28/1/2013) | Last Updated: 13:58 IST(29/1/2013)

At 80, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh might be considered old. But 101-year-old marathon runner Fauja Singh would love to invite that young man for a race.

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It is Singh's cherished desire to give the world renowned economist a run. And he can talk. He had learnt to walk only when he was five years old and took up long-distance running as a hobby when he was 89.

Born in Jalandhar in 1911, Singh ran his first race, the London Marathon, in 2000, covering the gruelling 26.2 miles in 6 hours, 54 minutes. And the man had knocked 58 minutes off the world best in the 90-plus age bracket.

On Monday, after being felicitated at the Baba Zorawar Singh Fateh Singh Senior Secondary Public School, Singh said he would feel honoured to run with the PM - a Sikh and the most powerful man in the country.

Now a British national and the world's oldest marathon runner, Singh wishes to end his career next month after the Hong Kong Marathon. But he does not run for money, all the earnings go for charity.

But what amuses him most? "I may be an illiterate, but now I have a book written on me. Is it not great?" Singh chuckled. His biography, "Turbaned Tornado", had been released in the Britain's House of Lords in 2011.

Fast facts
Born in Beas Pind, Jalandhar, on April 1, 1911, the youngest of four children, Fauja Singh, did not develop the ability to walk until he was five.

At 89, he took to long-distance running and ended up in international marathon events.

Ran his first race, the London Marathon, in 2000, completing the gruelling, 26.2-mile distance in 6 hours and 54 minutes, knocking 58 minutes off the previous world best for anyone in the 90-plus age bracket.

His biography, "Turbaned Tornado", was released in the Attlee Room of Britain’s House of Lords in 2011.

The world’s oldest marathon runner wishes to call time on his career after completing the 10-kilometre race at the Hong Kong Marathon next month.

Fauja Singh is now a British national, who took part in the last Mumbai Marathon.

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