images/articles/s5_nd_2.jpgI am not new to running. All my childhood I used to run, not only running from school to home, but generally to improve my stamina to play Badminton. I used to run, in my village's field hockey ground, early in the morning with my friends. Then in College, I ran with my teammates in D.M. College Moga corridors in the early hours of the day and later used to run from Khalsa College Gurusar Sudhar to Mullanpur and then in Chandigarh (these are the names of places in Punjab India, simply). After that I came to Canada and now I run on the trails of Beautiful British Columbia. My point is, I am not new to running. But, when I met Fauja Singh in Surrey International World Music Marathon couple of weeks ago, Running got a whole new meaning for me, and for thousands of others who came to participate in this beautiful event. I have never seen Fauja Singh before, and before heading to interview him, I was thinking he will be very old and will speak very slowly and two people will be supporting while he walks out of his car. But I was wrong, at 101 he look like a boy, charming and full of humour.
We interviewed him for about 20 minutes and he was very excited and told us about his life experiences of a century, he told us about his childhood and his roots in the villages of Punjab. He is a very proud Punjabi Sikh, who is now a torch bearer for millions of people around the world, as he ran many 42 kilometre marathons. He started running when he was 82 years old and took it professionally when he was 89 years. He held five world records for his age group, in the events of 100 metres in 23.14, 200 metres in 52.23, the 400 metres in 2:13.48, the 800 metres in 5:32.18, the 1500 metres in 11:27.81, the mile in 11:53.45, the 3000 metres in 24:52.47 and the 5000 metres in 49:57.39. He ran London marathon, five times, Toronto twice and New York once.
Fauja Singh is a vegetarian, and run for PITA. He says the secret of his long healthy life is belongs to God's wish, after that it is running and eating little vegetarian food at his age. He says everyone should eat what he ate while growing up, because our bodies are made of all the food we ate in our past. He says, he can't eat western food, he simply eat dal, roti, dahi, lassi, all traditional Punjabi food. But he adds that running is the most important thing to him. He started running after the death of his wife and his son. He says it was the will of God that took everything from him and then again it was God's wish to introduce him to running and he gets blessed with long healthy life, where he can teach others who are in pain or suffering. He says, we should accept whatever comes to us in life, be at peace and do good things yourself and be a light-source for others to follow.