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100 and Running

Fauja Singh either walks or sleeps. He doesn’t sit. The 100-year-old marathon runner from Jalandhar,believes he’ll die if he sits.

Written by Parul |
June 29, 2011 12:18:40 am

Fauja Singh either walks or sleeps. He doesn’t sit. The 100-year-old marathon runner from Jalandhar,believes he’ll die if he sits. For a man who could not walk till the age of five and barely managed till the age of 15,Fauja holds a record for being the oldest half-marathon runner,when he competed in last year’s Luxembourg Interfaith Marathon. It is this indomitable spirit that Chandigarh-based author,Khushwant Singh,captures in his new biography,Turbaned Tornado (Rupa,Rs 250).

The book traces the journey of the British Sikh who is also Adidas’ poster boy,starting from Fauja’s hometown,Bias Pind near Jalandhar. The story then moves to Britain where Fauja had shifted to be with his son.

It was Singh’s coach,Harmander Singh,who had asked the author to write the biography. Khushwant spent a month with Fauja,his family and trainer in the UK. “Fauja has a shoe fetish,sometimes running in a Hugo Boss,sometime in a Tommy Hilfiger with his 100 pound long-toed Gurgabis,his current favourite,” he says.

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