Friday, 28 October 2011

Fauja Singh and Guiness

Fauja Singh created History by becoming the first person ever, over 100 years of age - to run a full marathon. He did that in Toronto Read details here
This was later not approved as a record by Guiness since he did not have a birth certificate issued in 1911. Read here. There were no birth certificates issued by Br India in those days in his village. He however now holds a British passport and the date of birth on his passport of 1998 is April 1st 1911.

I appreciate the fact that Guiness needs to go by the book but is this an organisation certifying world records or only Western records - especially when they need to go back in time, into Eastern countries.

This is a pity and such records are definitely worthy of further investigations by Guiness to ensure that inspirational feats are recorded as a priority for inspiring mankind forward rather than only 'feats' like having the most body piercings in one sessions and so on.

Acceptance or lack of it, may not mean much to Fauja Singh, but I definitely think it will mean a lot to an ageing world population and even for the younger folks on this planet, to be inspired, for generations to come. Perhaps if that is one of the goals of Guiness - then they certainly need to try harder to get more detail on the veracity of Fauja's age.

See a 3 yr old video of Fauja running - he only seems to get younger with age!!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Folks - here is a guy who I met over a couple of our runs in Chandigarh doing the 5k. He then got hooked, brought his wife out to run and even his daughter who has now run a really tough 5km run in Gurgaon at the Running and Living Town and Country Half Marathon in August - when you are sweating at the starting line with the humidity. I know he has inspired many others in Chandigarh including some co workers who have joined us in Panchkula at our Karwa Chauth run on Oct 15th. Muthu will be running his nth half at the ADHM and perhaps his next full at our Gurgaon Running And Living Marathon and a Half and will inspire tons of people along the way. To run.

Read on

"After a lot of thinking I decided to add to the stories in your website which, like so many others, inspired me to be what I am today and I am sure would continue to do so, now that it has become my homepage.

It was the Christmas of 2009 that during a holiday in Kashmir, I decided to run just because it made me feel warm. The positive feeling, I felt then, stayed in me long thereafter. Almost as destiny would have it, on the flight back to Chandigarh, I saw the advertisement for the Chandigarh marathon scheduled for 31 Jan 2010. Before that, I had never run more than 5km, the basic requisite for fitness in the Army, and used to brush aside my brother’s feats in long-distance running as another of his eccentricities. Silently, I decided to run the half marathon, knowing pretty well that graduating from 5km to 21.1km would be a tough ask in four weeks. All it took was some inspiration from my elder brother who by now was a regular on the marathon circuit. Rahul Verghese, whom I met at shorter runs organised in Chandigarh and his energetic group and my urge to disprove my detractors wrong by doing it against all odds. I surprised myself with a great first run and then there was no looking back. What followed was two full marathons and seven half marathons over next one and a half years and a new me.

Running has brought in a great change in my attitude towards life and work, and changed my personality for the better. It has added that touch of self discipline and self-check that's so important to remain healthy mentally and physically. No task seems impossible now, and patience and perseverance has become a part of my habit.  I wish to continue running till I can and inspire others to make that change too.

Thanx Rahul and your team for being instrumental in this".

Lt Col (Dr) J Muthukrishnan
Classified Specialist (Med & Endocrinology)
Command Hospital (Western Command)