Oldest Marathon Runner To Lift Olympic Torch

The world's oldest marathon runner is carrying the Olympic torch through the streets of east London later today.

Fauja Singh, who is 101-years-old, will be undertaking the relay for the second time - he carried the torch in Athens eight years ago. 

He has since grown attached to it, describing it as his child, and says he cannot wait to add another torch to his collection.

Born in Punjab in 1911, Singh came to the UK to stay with his son Sukhjinder in 1992. He began running at the age of 86 in order to keep himself occupied and ran his first marathon at the age of 89.

Singh has since completed six London marathons, two in Toronto - where he set eight track records - and the New York marathon. 

:: See more on London 2012

There, in September 2011, he achieved his ninth track record, running 10,000 metres in 87 minutes.

Singh says he is spurred on by his faith and, on a physical level, his vegetarian diet helps him keep in shape. 

His endeavours have attracted attention from around the world, with students from California currently following and filming him for a documentary that highlights his achievements.

"Fauja Singh is truly remarkable, unique even for he oozes with enthusiasm and passion for being active both in mind and body which is infectious to all who have come into contact with him, yet he remains humble and grateful to the powers above for allowing him to help others," said coach Harmander Singh .
 
To mark the special occasion of Singh carrying the Olympic torch, Sikhs all over the UK will congregate in the capital to hand out thousands of vegetarian meals along the 30-mile Olympic route from Greenwich Park to Waltham Forest Town Hall. 

They will distribute free communal food (langar) in accordance with the Sikh principles of selfless service (seva).

Singh says his aim now is to run at the 2016 Olympics - when he will be 105 - to add to his torch collection.