(See the Vocabulary list for the definitions of words in green.)
Fauja Singh is one of the world’s oldest marathon runners. Born in India in 1911, he moved to the U.K. after his wife died in 1992. To combat the boredom of sitting at home, Fauja Singh decided to take up jogging – and eight years later ran his first marathon in London at the age of 89. Since then, he has run seven more marathons as well as countless half-marathons. He holds world records for the fastest times in his age group at 100m, 200m, 300m, 800m, 1500m, 1 mile, 3,000m and 5,000m.
Throughout his running career, Fauja Singh has raised money for various charities promoting Sikh culture, as well as a charity that provides medical care for premature babies. He said, “I think that it is a good thing for the oldest runner in the race to run for the youngest people in our world.” Fauja Singh is one of the most inspiring athletes in the world, and in 2004 Adidas featured him in an advertising campaign called “Nothing is Impossible.”
Fauja Singh is 180 percent fitter than an average man of his age, and doctors say that he can continue running as long as his cardiovascular system is able to support his training schedule of 7-10 miles per day.
What’s the secret to Fauja Singh’s great health? “I am very careful about different foods. My diet is simple,” he says. Fauja Singh doesn’t eat meat or fried foods, nor does he smoke or drink. His positive attitude and spirituality also help: “”I don’t want negative thoughts crossing my mind. The first 20 miles are not difficult. As for the last six miles, I run while talking to God.”
Click here to read more about Fauja Singh.
Combat = Fight against
Boredom = The noun for ‘boring’
Jogging = Faster than walking, but slower than running
Countless = Too many to count
Charities = Organizations that help people
Premature babies = Babies that are born too early
Fitter = Healthier and more athletic
Cardiovascular system = Heart and circulatory system (veins and arteries)
Words like oldest, fastest, youngest, and most inspiring are called superlatives. Superlatives are used to compare 3 or more things.
Click here to review the rules about superlatives, then take the quiz below!