Harmander Singh – his trainer.
94 year old breaks 5 records within 94 minutes
As part of their contribution to the Back the Bid campaign, the Sikh Community hosted a record-breaking event at Mile End Park Stadium,
East London, on Saturday 2 July. Star performer was the indefatigable 94 year old Fauja Singh. His aim was to run 100m, 200m, 400m, the mile and 1500m, and a 3000m continuing on to finish the 5000m. Six races covering eight distances in a time limit of 94 minutes. Impossible? – nothing is impossible for the ex-farmer from the Punjab!
Together with his enthusiastic coach, Harmander Singh, who himself had just missed out on the qualifying time for 10000m at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, and a group of training partners, Fauja clocked 19.97 (hand timed) for the 100, missing the UK record by 7/100th of a second. In the 200m he obliterated the UK M90 age group 200m clocking an amazing 45.13sec. The 400m he covered in 1.49.28sec, to become the first in Briton ever to contest this distance. The UK 800m time he beat by 18.02 sec, running 4.20.97sec. The magic mile he ran in 9.40.13, timed at 9.03.37 for 1500m in the process. The last event, the 5000m, 12½ times round the track, seemed a daunting target.
Cheered on by the Mayor, local Press and supporters, he reeled off consistent laps, setting a new UK M90 3000m in 18.38.48 and continuing to complete 5000m in 31.31.12, just 5.67sec off the current UK record. With five records, or six, if you allow for the fact that all races plus recovery time were completed within the 94 minutes, Fauja still had enough puff to conduct media interviews!
A synopsis of Fauja Singh’s running record is as follows:
Fauja Singh already holds the 10,000m record (64 minutes – Lahore Marathon January 2005), 1/2 Marathon (2 hours 29 minutes and 59 seconds) and the Marathon record (5 hours 40 minutes and 1 second) both at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in September 2004 and September 2003 respectively.
Fauja also covered 7km in Lisbon in 54 minutes when with the SIE team in 2006 and amazingly did 8Km in 50 minutes in 2007.
Fauja ran in the inaugural Sahibzade Marathon in Punjab at the invite of Capt Amarinder Singh who was the Chief Minister at the time in December 2004 followed by the inaugural Lahore Marathon in January 2005 at the invite of President Musharaf.
He has also ran in Kenya (Kericho) just days after being invited for Christmas dinner at Buckingham Palace at the invite of Her Majesty the Queen who also awarded him the runner-up award of Living Legend at Windsor Castle in 2006.
Fauja Singh was one of the Torch bearer’s for the Athens Olympics in 2004 and in 2005 the Official Starter of the second biggest marathon in the UK (Edinburgh Marathon).where together with Amrik Singh, Ajit Singh, Ajit Singh (2) and Karnail Singh they ran the relay race in 4 hours 16 minutes with a combined age of 387 – A year later with a revamped team (Sikhs In the City) the total age was 400 years and they were 3 minutes faster.
The sequence of Fauja Singh’s half and full marathon times is as below:
London Flora Marathon 2000 6 Hours 54 minutes
London Flora Marathon 2001 6 Hours 54 Minutes
London Flora Marathon 2002 6 Hours 45 Minutes
Bupa Great North Run (Half Marathon) 2002 2 Hours 39 minutes
London Flora Marathon 2003 6 Hours 2 minutes
Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2003 5 Hours 40 minutes
New York City Marathon 2003 7 Hours 35 minutes
London Flora Marathon 2004 6 Hours 7 minutes
Glasgow City Half Marathon 2004 2 Hours 33 minutes
Capital Radio Help a London Child 10,000m 2004 68 minutes
Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon 2004 2 Hours 29 minutes 59 seconds
Lahore Marathon (10,000m) 2005 64 minutes