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India-born centenarian Fauja Singh calls for peace marathon

London:  103-year-old Fauja Singh, the world's oldest marathon runner, has asked people of all faiths to join a peace marathon in the UK saying people should be fighting injustice, poverty and hatred, not each other.London's
PTI August 11, 2014 10:22 IST
PTI
London:  103-year-old Fauja Singh, the world's oldest marathon runner, has asked people of all faiths to join a peace marathon in the UK saying people should be fighting injustice, poverty and hatred, not each other.


London's running club Sikhs in the City has organised the relay race to mark the centenary of World War I as message of "cooperation and harmony".
The India-born British Sikh, the club's founding member who was three in 1914 when the conflict started, told the 'Ilford Recorder': "I urge everyone to support the race as there is too much violence in the world today."

He said Sikhs in the city represents Britain in the Luxembourg Interfaith Marathon each year to show how all faiths can share a common effort for peace and harmony. "I was only three at the time and it seems that despite the hundred years since, man still continues fighting man when there is no need. Man should be fighting injustice, poverty and hatred, not each other," he said.

Singh, who was born in India in 1911, took up running in his 80s to distract himself from the trauma of losing his son, daughter and wife in quick succession. He completed the London Marathon at the age of 89 before retiring after the Hong Kong marathon last year.

While he no longer runs, he keeps active by walking the same distance every day. "I look forward to playing my part in the race, if onlyto start it and cheer others all day," he added. His trainer Harmander Singh, who is organising the event with the club, said the race was particularly in honour of the
"forgotten victims" of conflicts - women and the elderly.

"There are so many conflicts across the globe, some are politically motivated, others are for economic gain and sadly some people misuse their faith as a reason to inflict harm on others even though all religions preach peace," he said.

The event starts in London at 9am on August 24 and will comprise 21 laps of a 2km route, with participants receiving a commemorative medal and T-shirt.
The club is looking for 21 people who normally lead prayers in their faith communities, 21 women from any background, and 21 pensioners from any background to join together in relay teams.

There will also be a 10km (five laps) and a 22km (11 laps) for anyone else who wants to take part