A 105-year-old Sikh helped a group of runners celebrate the group’s first birthday by taking part in a 5km run. Fauja Singh accepted an invitation from the organisers of the Rutland Water parkrun to take part in their weekly event on the shores of the reservoir. Mr Singh took up running in his 80s and […]
A 105-year-old Sikh helped a group of runners celebrate the group’s first birthday by taking part in a 5km run.
Fauja Singh accepted an invitation from the organisers of the Rutland Water parkrun to take part in their weekly event on the shores of the reservoir.
Mr Singh took up running in his 80s and has since completed eight marathons.
He took part in the event alongside more than 200 other runners.
Sometimes dubbed the Turbaned Tornado and Sikh Superman, he is a world record holder in his age bracket.
His current personal best time for the London Marathon in 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.
In 2004, Mr Singh, who lives in London, was featured in an advertising campaign for sportswear manufacturer Adidas alongside David Beckham and Muhammad Ali.
Run director Paul Rogerson said: “The star attraction on the day was undoubtedly Fauja Singh the world’s oldest marathon runner, now just 105 years young, who volunteered to be our tail runner for this event.
“The man is a legend in the running world having not taken up running until aged 89 and completing eight full marathons since then.
“Now retired from competitive running we were particularly honoured to have him run with us as this was his third parkrun.”
Rutland Water parkrun director Manjinder Jagdev, of Oakham, a lecturer in education at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, said the past year has been great.
She said: “I met Fauja a few years ago and kept in touch with him. When we were looking for an idea to celebrate our first birthday I thought of him. It was a real pleasure and a privilege to have him there.
The whole park run ethos is to create a happier, healthier community. It’s free, fun and a place to socialise.
“There are parkrun groups all over the world now – allowing people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to run or walk three-miles in an informal, non-competitive setting.
“You don’t have to run – we have people who walk with children in buggies, Nordic walkers, anyone is welcome.
“It’s by a team of unpaid volunteers for the benefit of the community and is proving to be very popular.”
As well as the special guest runner, there was cake for all finishers, and party balloons and bunting on the course, with many runners in Halloween outfits.
To take part, register at www.parkrun.org.uk and head to Rutland Water on a Saturday morning for the 9am run from Normanton Church to the dam and back.