Marathon veteran Fauja, 103, ready for Big Fun Run at Victoria Park
PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 August 2014
He may be 103 years old—but that won't stop Fauja Singh starting the Big Fun Run at east London's Victoria Park.
The veteran marathon runner, who was born three years before the Great War of 1914-18, is an inspiration with his 2012 Olympic torch when hundreds of runners who are generations younger than him arrive for the 5k charity event in October.
He is a world record-holder in his 90-plus age group, having crossed the finishing line in 5hrs 40mins in the 2003 Toronto Waterfront marathon, as well as completing the London marathon in 6hrs 2mins that same year—but then, he was a fit youngster of 92.
Fauja is also the oldest of a group of Sikhs who call themselves Sikhs in the City, formed 10 years ago. He doesn’t know when to quit.
“I live in east London, so being the official starter for the fun run will be a proud moment,” he said.
“What’s great about today is that you don’t need to be an experienced runner to take part. It’s lovely seeing all the charities raising funds for good causes.”
The Vicky Park event is one of 17 Big Fun Runs across Britain which began last month and go on for four months. More than 7,000 people took last year, raising £200,000 for charity.
Organiser Neil Kilgour said: “Seeing a grandparent at the start line isn’t unusual.
“This is not about testosterone-charged athletes charging home in a record time. It’s about Fred Flintstone running with his grandma, mums running with prams, dads with toddlers on their shoulders.
“It’s just a chance to get together and do something healthy in the great outdoors.”
Entries for the Big Fun Run in Victoria Park starting at 11am on Saturday, October 25, are still open online.