Fauja Singh became the oldest person to ever complete a full-distance marathon when he finished the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in just over 8 hours, 25 minutes.
The British born Singh turned 100 back in April. After the race he was asked how at 100 years-old he managed to run a marathon, “not smoking or drinking alcohol, staying positive — and eating ginger curry,”
It’s hard to imagine getting out of bed at 100-years-old, not too mention running 26.2 miles. After the race medical experts were baffled by his ability, “He is obviously a highly exceptional person. Marathons are a major stresser on your body. At the age of 100 most people are concentrating on 10 yards rather than a marathon,” said Dr. Sharon Brangman, chair of the American Geriatric Society.
According to BBC news which explored the reasons Singh is the oldest person to ever run a marathon, “The heart becomes less efficient at circulating oxygen – an average 60-year-old pumps 20% less oxygenated blood than a 20-year-old. Muscle strength also declines sharply once you pass 70, at a rate of about 30% per decade, according to some studies. Your ligaments and tendons become more brittle, making you more prone to injuries, and your lung tissue becomes stiffer and less efficient.”
As you dive into the scientific side of running a marathon it becomes more and more remarkable that Singh was able to finish the race. Our hat goes off to him as we only hope to live to see a 100-years old. And if we do let’s hope we’re still able to walk from our bed to the fridge to grab a beer.