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100-Year-Old Marathoner Sets World Record by Completing Toronto Race

Fauja Singh ran his first marathon at age 89

100-year-old Fauja Singh became the oldest person to complete a marathon in Toronto on October 16, 2011

100-year-old Fauja Singh became the oldest person to complete a marathon in Toronto on October 16, 2011. — Chris Young/The Canadian Press/AP

TORONTO — A 100-year-old runner became the oldest person to complete a full-distance marathon when he finished the race in Toronto on Sunday.

Fauja Singh earned a spot in the Guinness World Records for his accomplishment.

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It took Singh more than eight hours to cross the finish line — more than six hours after Kenya’s Kenneth Mungara won the event for the fourth straight year — and he was the last competitor to complete the course.

But his time wasn’t nearly as remarkable as the accomplishment.

Event workers dismantled the barricades along the finish line and took down sponsor banners even as Singh made his way up the final few hundred yards of the race.

Family, friends and supporters greeted Singh when he finished the race.

“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.”

Sunday’s 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 on Thursday 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.

Also of interest: Oldest female bodybuilder.>>

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