Opinion: Tough cookie

POSTED: 10/18/11 12:15 PM

True, we’re not quickly impressed, but the performance of Fauja Singh blew us straight out of our socks. Singh was born in India, like, one hundred years ago. The past weekend he took part in the marathon of Toronto. For the uninitiated: that’s a run of 42 kilometers and 195 meters. Singh completed the marathon in a bit more than eight hours. That’s what we call a tough cookie.
The time may seem slow compared to the winner, Kenneth Mungara (he finished in 2 hours 9 minutes and 51 seconds), but hey, Singh is a hundred years old. He is the first athlete ever to complete a marathon at this age.
Even more remarkable, Singh started doing marathons at the ripe age of 89. When he was 92 he set a personal record of 5 hours 40 minutes and 1 second. Even that result blew us away. Today’s managing editor completed his first marathon in just under 4 hours but he was something like 45 at the time – half the age of Fauja Singh.
Singh’s achievement will be entered into the Guiness Book of Records. The Toronto marathon was Singh’s eighth successful run over 42 kilometers and 195 meters. Along the way he set records for 100-year olds for eight different distances, from the 100 meter to the 5,000 meter.
Singh wants to take part in the relay that will take the Olympic torch to London next year. In 2004 he took part in the relay that brought the torch to Athens – but then he was of course still relatively young at 93.

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