Inspiring 100 Year Old Runs Marathon and Shames Us

MarathonersThose of us who start to feel old and over-the-hill when we hit 30 would do well to take a lesson or two from Fauja Singh, the runner who finished in last place at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on Sunday.

Inspiration from the guy who came in dead last? Who took more than eight hours to complete a race, more than six hours longer than the guy who won?

Yup, because Singh is 100 years old.

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You heard me right: The guy was born in 1911, and didn't actually take up marathon running until he was 89, after his wife and son died.

Also, Singh, who has now run eight marathons, says he runs purely out of love for the sport: He already held the Association of Road Racing Statisticians' record as the oldest person to complete a marathon -- for running a race when he was 93. So he was competing with no one but himself!

Singh credits his healthy lifestyle with his longevity (he not only walks or runs 10 miles each day, but he eats vegetarian and refrains from drinking or smoking). But I gotta wonder if his positive mental attitude plays an even bigger role. (His sense of humor was on display during the race: He ran it in a T-shirt -- yellow to match his turban -- emblazoned with the message "Sikhs in the City," a pop-culture pun on his faith. Get it?)

And if it's not too late for a guy like Singh, maybe it's not too late for the rest of us.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to lace up the running shoes that have sat untouched in my closet for months and take a lap or two around the park.

Will Singh's story inspire you to do something now you thought you were too old for?

 

Image via Peter Fristedt/Flickr

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