Thursday, September 08, 2011

'Stay smiling and keep running'

Wilf Cooper, of Lockleaze, Bristol, gave his wife to understand that he was going to six half-marathon races to put up barriers and help with the race.

In fact, he was one of the runners. His wife found out when a neighbour spotted him on television. "He was in the doghouse that day, I can tell you," she says.

The reason for his subterfuge: Mr Cooper is 90 years old, and his wife worries about him. (They have been married for 67 years.) Despite having been found out, he wants to race one more time while he's able.

A marathon runner at 90, you say? What next! But wait.

The Daily Mail reports that the first person to sign up for the 2012 Edinburgh marathon is 100 years old.

Fauja Singh, who used to live in the Punjab but now lives in the UK, was born on April 1, 1911. He has run five marathons in London, one in Toronto and one in New York.

He is pictured with a long white beard, an orange turban - Mr Singh is a Sikh - sports gear and a massive pair of trainers.

The secret of a long and happy life, he says, is to be stress-free. ("Stay away from people who are negative, stay smiling and keep running.") And the diet he chooses to keep him running is plenty of ginger curry and copious amounts of tea.

Plenty of ginger curry and copious amounts of tea would probably spur me on, too. But not, I think, to running marathons.