PETALING JAYA (THE STAR): A tragedy drove the world's oldest marathon runner to the sport but running has now become Fauja Singh's “medicine” and is the secret to his longevity.
The 101-year-old said he only started running in his 80s, after his eldest son Kuldeep Singh died in an accident.
“Running helped me cope with the loss,” said the British national, who was in Malaysia for the Chardikala Fun Run at Padang Astaka here yesterday.
“Running and walking have become my medicine and are part of my routine now,” he said. “I simply have to do it.”
Fauja added that he walked an average four hours a day but would go “all out” and run for 10 miles once every eight days.
The centenarian said he started with 100m sprints until a friend recommended that he tried running marathons.
Nicknamed “The Turbaned Tor-nado”, he said other runners' good wishes gave him the energy to keep on running.
“My favourite marathon experience was in New York after 9/11, where turbans and beards were a no-no.
“People told me to pull out and even said I might be shot at. I decided to take my chances, as what better way to die than while running.