Fauja Singh

Fauja Singh

|British
date of birth : 01/04/1911 | date of death :
Born on 1 April 1911, Beas Pind, Jalandhar Punjab, British India,Marathon runner, Having become the world’s oldest half marathon runner at 99 years of age in May 2010 when he ran the Inter-Faith Marathon in Luxembourg, Fauja, whose name means a soldier, is a one-man army who wants to keep running till he drops.

Birth, Birthplace, Time of birth:

Fauja Singh was born on 1 April 1911 in Beas Pind, Jalandhar Punjab, British India.

Father's name: -
Mother's name: -
Brother: -
Sister: -
Spouse: -
Children: -

Reputation, fame, nickname:

Turbaned Tornado/ Running Baba/ Sikh Superman

Personal Information:

Height:172 cm (5 ft 8 in)
Weight: 52 kg (115 lb)

Life events:

Fauja Singh was born in Beas Pind, Jalandhar, Punjab, British India and he was the youngest of four children. Fauja did not develop the ability to walk until he was five years old. His legs were thin and weak, and he could hardly walk long distances. Because of this, he was often teased, and had to carry the nickname "danda" for the next ten years. As a young man, Fauja was an avid amateur runner, but he had to give it up and return to farming due to the 1947 India-Pakistan Partition. It was only after witnessing the death of his fifth son, Kuldip, in a construction accident in August 1994, thatFauja returned to his passion for running, in 1995. The deaths of his wife in 1992, and his eldest daughter who had died from complications after giving birth to his third granddaughter, gave him the determination for this new focus in life. He emigrated to England in the 1990s and lives with one of his sons in Ilford. At 89 years, he took seriously to running and ended up in international marathon events. When he first turned up for training at Redbridge, Essex, he was dressed in a three-piece suit. The coach had to rework everything, including his attire. Singh ran his first race, the London Marathon, in 2000. According to his coach, he used to run up to 20 kilometres easily and wanted to run a marathon, thinking it to be just 26 kilometres and not 26 miles (42 kilometres). It was after he realised this that he began training seriously.He is the eldest of a group of Sikhs who call themselves "Sikhs in the City", formed over 10 years ago. There are three other Sikhs, aged 79, 79 and 80, in the "Golden Oldies" Team, which ran the Edinburgh Marathon relay in 2009. The SITC running group are a now a well-established team based in East London, running marathons across the world with interfaith groups and raising money for Fauja Singh's charities. His biography, titled "Turbaned Tornado", was formally released in the Attlee Room of Britain's House of Lords on 7 July 2011 by Lord Anthony Young of Norwood Green and retired British Crown Court judge Sir Mota Singh. In October 2011, Singh, a vegetarian, became the oldest man to be featured in a PETA campaign. In July 2012, Fauja Singh carried the Olympic torch.

Occupations and Career:

Fauja Singh is a British centenarian marathon runner of Punjabi Sikh descent. Singh holds UK records for the 200 m, 400 m, 800 m, mile and 3000 m for his age group, records all set within a single 94 minute period. At the age of 100 (and a half), Singh attempted and accomplished eight world age group records in one day, at the special Ontario Masters Association Fauja Singh Invitational Meet, held at Birchmount Stadium in Toronto, Ontario Canada. Timed by officials in Canada, He ran the 100 metres in 23.14, 200 metres in 52.23, the 400 metres in 2:13.48, the 800 metres in 5:32.18, the 1500 metres in 11:27.81, the mile in 11:53.45, the 3000 metres in 24:52.47 and the 5000 metres in 49:57.39, setting five world records for his age group in one day. Each time bested the previous record in that age division (some events had no previous record holder, as nobody over age 100 had ever attempted the distance). Some of his marks are significantly superior to the listed world record in the M95 age group as well. On 16 October 2011, Singh became the first 100-year-old to finish a marathon, completing the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 8:11:06. As it took him over 14 minutes after the gun to cross the starting line, the official time submitted for the age group record will be 8:25:17. However, Guinness World Records refused to include Singh in its record book due to the fact that he could not produce his birth certificate to prove his age. Birth records were not kept in India in 1911, however it is claimed that records written in Urdu date back to 23 February 1879.He was able to produce a passport listing his date of birth as 1 April 1911, and a letter from Queen Elizabeth II congratulating him on his 100th birthday. He is a world record holder in his age bracket. His current personal best time for the London Marathon (2003) is 6 hours 2 minutes, and his marathon record, for age 90-plus, is 5 hours 40 minutes at the age of 92, at the 2003 Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

Awards /Honors:

On 13 November 2003, Singh was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor by the National Ethnic Coalition, a group that advocates ethnic pride and tolerance. William Fugazy, the chairman of the coalition, said Singh is a symbol of racial tolerance, and his running helps bridge the gap created by the 11 September terrorist attacks. "He is the greatest inspiration," said Fugazy, and added that Singh was the first non-American to receive the honour. He was awarded the "Pride of India" title by a UK-based organization for his achievements in 2011.

Quotes and Memoirs:

It's because of the happiness I get out of it. If something makes you happy, you'll do it well.
I am very careful about different foods. My diet is simple phulka, dal, green vegetables, yogurt and milk. I do not touchparathas, pakoras, rice or any other fried food. I take lots of water and tea with ginger. ... I go to bed early taking the name of my Rabba (God) as I don’t want all those negative thoughts crossing my mind.
Running makes people more spiritually aware and in tune with their inner self.
When I took up running, it was like meetingGod himself.
There are two noble things in life: one to do charity; and other to look after your body.
Running has made my life worth while; I was more dead than alive after the personal tragedy in my life.
I have retired, but only in body. Spiritually I feel able.
I fell in love with running; I started forgetting my grief and traumas.
The first part of run is when I am quite cheerful; my heart is singing a song.
References:
http://en.wikipedia.org