Fauja Singh, a 101-year-old marathoner, ran his last competitive race in Hong Kong Feb. 24, putting an end to an illustrious running career that began when he was 89 years old.
"I am feeling very happy about the race. Every time I run I feel so fresh," Singh told the Telegraph after finishing the Hong Kong marathon's 10k race in one hour, 32 minutes and 28 seconds.
Fauja, a British runner of Punjabi Sikh descent, began running to cope with depression after his wife and son died in 1992 and 1994, respectively. He ran his first full marathon in London in 2000 at the tender age of 89.
Singh, who was a farmer in his native India, has completed nine 26.2-mile marathons: in London, Toronto and New York. Fauja clocked his personal best time of five hours and 40 minutes at the 2003 Toronto Marathon.
While Singh has been touted as the oldest marathoner after completing the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2011, the Guinness Book of Records hasn't officially recognized him because he doesn't a birth certificate.
The 5-foot-8, 117-pound Singh is a lifelong vegetarian who attributes his longevity and good health to a portion-controlled, plant-based diet.
"In the Sikh religion, we eat to live, not live to eat," Fauja told PETA in 2011. "Sikhism does not permit followers to eat any animal who has suffered.
"You need a balanced and wholesome diet. It doesn’t matter how nice to look at or sweet food is. If your body can’t digest it, why eat it? In many parts of the world, people are dying because of starvation, while others are dying because of overeating. My solution is just to eat what my body needs."
While Fauja won't be running any more marathons, he'll continue to run to stay fit. "I feel that I must retire on a high," he said. "I will not stop running, but will do it for my personal health."