'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
December 10, 2013 -- Updated 1900 GMT (0300 HKT)
Presidents and prime ministers, celebrities and royals joined tens of thousands of South Africans to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela.
December 10, 2013 -- Updated 1235 GMT (2035 HKT)
President Obama pays tribute at the Mandela Memorial: "Mandela reminds us that it always seems impossible until it is done," he said.
December 9, 2013 -- Updated 2311 GMT (0711 HKT)
Until he returned home this weekend, Merrill Newman -- an American held in North Korea -- had no idea what a story he'd become.
December 10, 2013 -- Updated 0246 GMT (1046 HKT)
Transportation throughout the inhospitable Arctic region may soon be revolutionized.
December 10, 2013 -- Updated 1430 GMT (2230 HKT)
There were no genetic tests 400,000 years ago, so our ancient relatives didn't know as much about themselves as we know about them now.
Theme parks, sports stadiums, and city squares are among the most popular destinations that people checked into on Facebook in 2013.
December 10, 2013 -- Updated 1653 GMT (0053 HKT)
At a time when many have lost faith in the global financial system, Bitcoin is being hailed as the future of e-commerce.
December 10, 2013 -- Updated 1346 GMT (2146 HKT)
Actress Eleanor Parker, nominated for three Oscars and known for her "Sound of Music" role, died Monday at 91, her family said.
December 10, 2013 -- Updated 1249 GMT (2049 HKT)
Director and actor Charlie Chaplin made Virginia Cherrill perform one scene -- in which she says just two words in a silent film -- 342 times.
December 10, 2013 -- Updated 1118 GMT (1918 HKT)
Each volunteer at Yekokeb Berhan in Ethiopia will take in 25 disadvantaged children as her own.
December 10, 2013 -- Updated 1611 GMT (0011 HKT)
The Web is set to change our lives over the next decade. This will also question the use of personal data and balancing new powers with ethics.
December 11, 2013 -- Updated 1700 GMT (0100 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see in news reports, taken by CNN teams all around the world.
He was imprisoned for life but that did not quiet him. Nelson Mandela became South Africa's first black president, and an icon and inspiration.
Today's five most popular stories