Is Fauja Singh, a Sikh marathon runner from east London, really 101 years old?

by Gursant Singh ⌂ @, Yuba City California USA, Friday, April 20, 2012, 13:39 (3507 days ago) @ Gursant Singh
edited by Gursant Singh, Wednesday, July 25, 2012, 19:59

I have been participating in an internet forum and the following discussion arose about Fauja Singh's age.

"Unfortunately, he's not really 101. Wish he'd come clean about this, but he's probably let the fiction go on too long. ... He's in his mid-80's, which is still a great achievement, but it's not record-breaking stuff (yet); the Guinness book of world records (rightly) refused to accept his claim to being the oldest marathon runner ever last year, since there was no verifiable proof of his age being 100."

"Yes, that is generally the case (many of my father's friends have official birthdays on the 1st of January!), but the year is usually correct to within a year or so. A small fraction of older people, however, exaggerated their age by a decade or more, perhaps to qualify for a state pension early.

My dad and a couple of other friends (also in their 80's now, if only just) have participated in half marathons and relay marathons with Bhai Fuja Singh. My dad became suspicious about the claimed age and, on questioning from his (more serious runner) friend, Bhai Fuja Singh admitted that he was not nearly as old as stated."

Gursant Singh says:
I know for many people who are born in India especially of Fauja Singh's generation that no birth records are kept. For example people I know in India sometimes just make a date up for their birthdays. Do you think this is the case with Fauja Singh that he just approximated his birth date?

BBC NEWS: April 20th 2012

London will be final marathon for 101-year-old

A 101-year-old runner has told the BBC Asian Network that this Sunday's London Marathon will be his last long distance race.

Fauja Singh, who was born in India but moved to Britain in the 1960s, has completed eight marathons since taking up the sport at the age of 89.

Recently he completed the Toronto marathon in a time of eight hours, 25 minutes and 16 seconds and his coach Harmandar Singh thinks he can go faster in the London race.

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