'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.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2245 GMT (0645 HKT)
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0012 GMT (0812 HKT)
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT)
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1054 GMT (1854 HKT)
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1431 GMT (2231 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.