are proud to present a brief account of S. Fauja Singh - a 93 year old YOUNG marathon
runner. He has been honoured by Adidas.The following article is presented with
thanks to Finian Davern from the Evening Standard of 30th March 2004.
new face of adidas, 93
First they recruited
David Beckham. Then they got England rugby hero Jonny Wilkinson in on the act.
Now sportswear firm adidas has unveiled a world-beating marathon runner as
its new sporting idol.
But Fauja Singh is no designer label heartthrob. He
is a 93-year-old from Redbridge who took up running only four years ago, and will
be the oldest competitor in the Flora London Marathon on Sunday 18 April.
2000, Mr Singh has run six marathons - four in London - and in that time has knocked
82 minutes off the nonagenarian marathon world record of five hours, 40 minutes
and four seconds.
This year, the father of four, and grandfather of 13, plans
to run his last long-distance race and aims to finish in five hours 23 minutes.
"I love running and want to make this last one special," he said
in a break from training. "I want to go out on a high."
took up running after moving to London from the Punjab to live with his youngest
son's family. He had been a casual runner in his younger days in India but gave
up when he was 36.
"I love it because it is good for my health and it
gets me out of the house," he said. "Marathons are tough, and when you're
even 10 yards from the finish, you can't believe you put yourself through it.
But once you cross the finish line, that changes and it's pure elation.
proof that anyone can run a marathon," he said. "I might be old, but
look at all the people with disabilities who do it. It's difficult, but it's only
those who haven't run one who say they can't do it."
Mr Singh jogs at
least 10 miles a day. He covers six miles every morning and runs errands for friends.
He is a devout Sikh, and runs between temples and community centres in east London
to visit friends and relatives. Mr Singh meditates daily and swears by the medicinal
qualities of ginger curries.
He will not reveal the size of his deal with
adidas but admits it provides him with shoes and running wear. He gives any money
he makes to charity.
This year he is running the marathon for Bliss, a charity
that helps premature babies. He will also wear the logo of the British Heart Foundation
in honour of some of his jogging friends who took up running after suffering heart
Adidas signed him for its Nothing Is Impossible campaign before Christmas.
"Fauja is the oldest runner in the race and every time he runs a marathon,
he seems to be getting quicker," said a spokesman.
in perfectly with what our campaign is about. He truly is remarkable. Everything
we give him he gives straight to charity."
Mr Singh says he may make
a one-off comeback in the 2009 London Marathon. "I will retire after this.
But the world record for the oldest person to run a marathon is 98. I'd like to
We present another
article by Austin Fenner of the daily News with thanks
jeers didn't stop Sikh marathon man, 92
A 92-year-old Sikh man who ran the New
York City Marathon wearing his turban endured taunts of "Hey, Osama Bin Laden"
and "Look at Saddam" along the 26-mile route.
Fauja Singh had decided
to run to educate the public about Sikhism, a religion founded in Punjab, India,
in the 1500s. He found he still has a long road ahead.
"Sikhs are not
a part of any other religion. It is its own religion," said Singh, who took
7-1/2 hours to run through the five boroughs on Nov. 12. "I wasn't hurt by
it," he said. "Those comments had nothing to do with the race."
a British citizen who lives in London, said that for all the offensive comments
there were plenty of cheers and a continuous roar of clapping that kept him focused
on the asphalt.
the people were looking [cheering] at me, I was getting all of their energies,"
said the nonagenarian, speaking in Punjabi through an interpreter.
Singh was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor by the National Ethnic Coalition
Organization, a group that advocates ethnic pride and tolerance.
Fugazy, the chairman of the coalition, said Singh is a symbol of racial tolerance,
and his run helps bridge the gap created by the Sept.11 terrorist attacks.
is the greatest inspiration," said Fugazy, adding that Singh is the first
non-American to receive the honor.