'Turbaned tornado', world's oldest marathon runner, retires
February 25, 2013 -- Updated 0813 GMT (1613 HKT)
- Fauja Singh, 101, completes final race in Hong Kong
- The great, great grandfather has run 9 marathons
- Took up long-distance running after death of son
- Attributes success to love of the sport
Hong Kong (CNN) -- Not your average great-great grandfather, Fauja Singh has completed nine 26-mile (42-kilometer) marathons since taking up long-distance running just over a decade ago.
On Sunday, the 101-year-old Sikh finished his final competitive race in Hong Kong, putting an end to a sporting career that has raised thousands of dollars for charity and been an inspiration to many around the world.
Nicknamed "Turbaned Tornado" by fans for his distinctive traditional headwear, Singh said he began long-distance running in an attempt to lift the depression that engulfed him after he witnessed the death of his son.
"I suffered a tragic incident in my life, a traumatic experience; I took up running as a new focus in life. And then marathon running developed from there," he told CNN at a training session before Sunday's race.
Fauja Singh smiles after completing the 10-kilometer run during the 2013 Hong Kong Marathon on Sunday.
He completed the 10-kilometer route that wound its way along Hong Kong's harborfront in one hour 32 minutes and 28 seconds -- four minutes faster than his time last year despite a small stumble.
"Five or six kilometers into the race, I really decided to go for it," he said. "I had lots of power today because I was very happy. "
Singh moved to the UK from India following the death of his son and entered his first marathon in London in 2000 aged 89.
In 2011, Singh became the first centenarian on record to complete a marathon after finishing the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2011 in eight hours and 11 minutes and six seconds.
He was also a torchbearer for the 2012 Olympics and was featured in Adidas' "Impossible is nothing" advertising campaign.
"He's focused, determined and single minded ... he's never set out to break records," said his trainer Harmander Singh, who has been coaching him for 13 years.
Although the Hong Kong event was Singh's last competitive race, his coach said the centenarian will still run for pleasure.
"He's my best student, I would say, which is ironic because he's twice my age."
As he hangs up his running shoes, Singh told CNN he had no secret diet or training regimen. He attributed his success to a simple love of the sport.
"It's because of the happiness I get out of it. If something makes you happy, you'll do it well."
CNN's Aloke Devichand, Elizabeth Joseph and Diego Laje contributed reporting in Hong Kong.
Part of complete coverage on
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1439 GMT (2239 HKT)
Tethered to an IV drip, 71-year-old Shin Young Ja lies under a thin fleece blanket, nursing a broken back and wracked with survivor's guilt.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)
Family members of the missing passengers are pinning slim hopes on floundering air pockets.
April 17, 2014 -- Updated 1614 GMT (0014 HKT)
An Iranian mother slaps and then forgives her 17-year old son's murderer in dramatic scenes at the gallows.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
An "extraordinary" video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
April 14, 2014 -- Updated 1230 GMT (2030 HKT)
Explore each side's case, reconstructed from Pistorius' court affidavit and the prosecution's case during last year's bail hearing.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
Mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests or political reform are still censored in China.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 0934 GMT (1734 HKT)
The Hadza are one of the last communities of hunter-gatherers in the world -- but losing their land.
April 19, 2014 -- Updated 0122 GMT (0922 HKT)
In choosing to change a traditional practice, Francis is being as radical as Jesus was in his own time.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
Too weak. Can't handle pressure. Unattractive to sponsors. Susie Wolff has heard it all.
April 19, 2014 -- Updated 0356 GMT (1156 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1230 GMT (2030 HKT)
It's like finding a needle in a universe-wide haystack. Researchers have located a planet roughly the size of Earth that could be habitable.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 0940 GMT (1740 HKT)
Dubai, long champion of all things biggest, longest and most expensive, will soon have some competition from a neighboring country.
Today's five most popular stories