Fauja Singh, the world’s oldest living marathoner, finished his last race on Sunday, February 24, BBC News reported.
The 101-year-old Singh completed Hong Kong’s 10-kilometer (6.25-mile) race in one hour, 32 minutes, and 28 seconds.
“I will remember this day. I will miss it,” Singh said shortly after crossing the finish line.
Singh, who took up running at the age of 89 to cope with family tragedies, announced in January 2013 that the race on Sunday would be his last.
As a 100-year-old, Singh set the record for oldest person to complete a marathon at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. He was the final contestant to finish, but the achievement earned him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Indian-born Singh has earned the nickname “The Turbaned Torpedo” for the headdress he wears during competition.
Singh was born on April 1, 1911, but only became known globally due to his passion for running, which developed following the average man’s life expectancy.
He was steered toward that passion through a grisly accident in which he witnessed his son’s decapitation.
According to ESPN, Singh and his son Kuldip had been farmers in 1994 at the time of the accident.
During a storm, they were checking on their land when a wind blew a piece of corrugated metal across the field, slicing through Kuldip’s neck while Singh watched.
Singh, a widower, turned to running out of depression. “He didn’t think his life was worth living without his son,” said interpreter Harmander Singh.
Singh went to live with his youngest son after the accident and became involved in running tournaments sponsored by the Sikh community.
His first marathon was the London Marathon in 2000. He ran nine in all with his best time coming in at five hours, 40 minutes in the 2003 Toronto Marathon.
On Sunday, Singh reflected to ESPN on his late-in-life career, admitting he felt “a bit of happiness and a bit of sadness mixed together. I am happy that I am retiring at the top of the game but I am sad that the time has come for me to not be part of it.”
Singh added that he wanted people “to remember me and not forget me.”
What does Singh’s story make you want to accomplish that you haven’t yet?