It’s no secret that running a marathon takes a lot of training and mental strength. For most people, it's at least 4 hours of non-stop running.
With this in mind, it might surprise you to learn of three people who are, or were, among some of the oldest marathon runners in the world. Here are their stories:
FAUJA SINGH – 106 YEARS OLD
Born back in April 1, 1911, this marathon runner’s capabilities are no April Fool’s Day joke. Singh has been heralded as one of the oldest active marathon runners in the world. A British Sikh, Singh was born in Beas Pind, India and has beaten a number of world records in multiple age brackets.
Some of his nicknames include the Turbanded Tornado, Running Baba, and Superman. He completed his last long-distance race, the Hong Kong 10 km (6.25 miles) run in 32 minutes and 28 seconds in 2013.
Singh credits his abilities and his youthfulness in old age to his lack of a big ego. He says he donates to charity and doesn’t horde his money. Although he has stopped running long distance marathons, the runner also says he continues to walk every day.
He currently lives in London and has run thousands of miles since completing his first marathon in his early 80s.
THE LATE HARRIETTE THOMPSON – 92 YEARS OLD
Thompson was heralded as the oldest woman to complete a marathon back in 2015. She was 92 at the time, but passed away only two years later at the age of 94. She broke the record when she finished the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in 7:24:36.
The previous record holder was Gladys Burrill, who was 74 days younger than Thompson.
Thompson was a cancer survivor, concert pianist, and a grandmother to 10 children. Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, Thompson was accompanied by her 56-year-old son, Brenny Thompson, who helped get her through the race.
Thompson began running short distances with her husband in her 50s. Her husband died in his late 60s from cancer. She said that she began running the San Diego race when she found that a friend from her church choir ran in the race to raise money for a cancer charity. That’s when Thompson caught the running bug.
THE LATE ED WHITLOCK – 86 YEARS OLD
Ed Whitlock was an English-born Canadian long-distance runner. He was the first person over the age of 70 to run a marathon in less than 3 hours in Canada.
He set a record in October of 2016 at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon by finishing it in under four hours. Whitlock was a runner in his teenage years, but he decided to take up the sport again in his 40s. The runner died in 2017 from complications associated with prostate cancer.
When he was running, scientists were baffled at his ability to withstand the harsh Canadian winter weather. They marvelled at his lung capacity and his leg strength.
So there you have it, three of the oldest marathon runners in the world. With these stories in mind, you no longer have age as an excuse... seems like you're never too old to run a marathon!
Do you know of people who fit into this category? Comment below :)