Guinness says no record for 100-year-old marathon runner
Published On Mon Oct 24 2011Email Print (5) Rss Article
A 100-year-old man who completed the Toronto Marathon has not made it into the Guinness World Records book after all.
Guinness spokesman Craig Glenday says his organization won’t accept the evidence provided by Fauja Singh that he is actually 100.
The Turbaned Tornado, as he’s nicknamed, thought he’d become the oldest marathoner ever on Oct. 16, but Glenday tells Toronto radio station AM640 that Singh can’t provide the necessary proof of his age.
Singh, who lives in east London, has a British passport that says he was born in 1911, but holds no birth certificate.
His trainer says officials in the part of India where Singh was born didn’t issue birth certificates, and Glenday says the man’s family might not have registered his birth.
It took Singh more than eight hours to cross the finish line of the gruelling 42.195-kilometre marathon — more than six hours after Kenya’s Kenneth Mungara won the event for the fourth straight year.
The five-foot-eight, 115-pound runner was also the last competitor to complete the course.
“Don’t get me wrong. We would love to credit this guy with his achievement,” Glenday told AM640.
“It’s a no-go for the record, I’m afraid, because if you can’t prove how old you are, you can’t be the world’s oldest anything.”
Guinness would accept marriage certificates, military draft details or records of surgery, but the organization didn’t see any of those types of documents, said Glenday.
He says passports only confirm a person’s nationality, not their date of birth.
And even the telegram sent by the Queen on Singh’s 100th birthday isn’t good enough for Guinness.
“The Queen doesn’t work for us,” said Glenday.
The race was Fauja Singh’s eighth marathon — he ran his first at the age of 89.
Singh began running roughly 20 years ago after losing his wife and child.