Oldest marathon runner: Fauja Singh sets world record (Video)
TORONTO, Canada -- Indian-born Fauja Singh, 100 years of age, became the oldest person to complete a full-distance marathon when he finished the Toronto Waterfront Marathon - setting the new world record for the Oldest marathin runner, according to World Record Academy (www.worldrecordacademy.com).
Photo: Fauja Singh, 100, celebrates at the finish line after completing the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in Toronto. Photo: AP (enlarge photo)
The Guinness world record for the oldest female to complete a marathon was Gladys Burrill (USA) at the age of 92 years 19 days at the Honolulu Marathon in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. Burrill completed the race in 9 hr, 53 min, 16 sec.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the the oldest person to have completed a marathon on each of the seven continents: Margaret Hagerty (USA) started aged 72 years 225 days and finished aged 81 years 101 days.
Singh, a British citizen born in India, crossed the line in just over 8 hours, 11 minutes — and, officially at least, wasn't the last finisher. Four people, who it appears were in a group accompanying Singh, were 1 to 10 seconds behind him according to the electronic chips they carried to record their times.
"Beating his original prediction, he's overjoyed," his coach and translator Harmander Singh said. "Earlier, just before we came around the (final) corner, he said, 'Achieving this will be like getting married again.' "He's absolutely overjoyed, he's achieved his lifelong wish."
This run was Singh's eighth marathon — he ran his first at age 89 — and wasn't the first time he set a record.
In the 2003 Toronto event, he set the mark in the 90-plus category, finishing the race in 5 hours, 40 minutes and 1 second.
And now in Toronto, Singh broke world records for runners older than 100 in eight different distances ranging from 100 meters to 5,000 meters.
The 5-foot-8 Singh said he's hopeful his next project will be participating in the torch relay for the 2012 London Games. He carried the torch during the relay for the 2004 Athens Games.