At 99, Marathon Man runs on At 99, Marathon Man runs on - Chandigarh - City - The Times of India CHANDIGARH: Turbaned Tornado, Fauja Singh turns 99 on Thursday. Here’s wishing this Punjabi icon who manages running marathons at an age not many reach, many happy returns of the day. Besides other gifts that he’d be receiving on his birthday on April 1, this real life ‘Forest Gump’ is all set to give himself a present — by setting yet another marathon record at the ripe age of 99. “I can only sleep, run or walk. I’ll die the day I sit down,” the young nonagenarian had told this scribe in an interview in 2005 on the streets of Ilford, Essex, UK, where he has been living along with his son Sukhjinder Singh since the 1980s. He shifted to UK after having lost his wife and younger son in quick succession in Punjab. Born in India, Fauja originally hails from Beas village of Jalandhar district. The world’s oldest marathon runner, his tryst with track began at the age of 89 — when curiosity got the better of him and he decided to find out what made people run aimlessly for miles and miles. Of thin frame, the sprightly man’s first race was the 2000 Flora London Marathon where he ran a full marathon (26.2 miles) for Bliss, a charity for premature children. ‘Oldest running for the youngest’ said advertisements as Fauja completed the race in 6 hours and 54 minutes. “Since marathons can be punishing, every runner has a shelf life. But Fauja Singh amazes me,” claimed Harmander Singh, his trainer and mentor, while talking to TOI about Fauja’s unlimited feats that include five successive London Marathons, the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, The New York Marathon and many half marathons, including the one in Pakistan on president Prevez Musharraf’s invitation.