Guinness Won't Certify 100-Year-Old Marathoner's Record

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Centenarian marathoner Fauja Singh won't have a spot in the Guinness World Book of Records after all. The 100-year-old runner attracted worldwide attention when he completed the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on Oct. 16.

It took Singh over eight hours to cross the finish line, more than six hours after Kenya's Kenneth Mungara won the event.

But Guinness World Records told the BBC it won't recognize Singh as the world's oldest marathoner because he can't show a birth certificate from 1911.

Singh's British passport shows his date of birth as April 1, 1911 and the Queen even sent him a letter congratulating him on his 100th birthday,. A letter from Indian government officials states that birth records were not kept in 1911.

Apparently, the documentation Singh has is not enough.

"We'd love to say this is a true Guinness World Record, but the problem is there is just no evidence... We can only accept official birth documents created in the year of the birth," the editor-in-chief of Guinness World Records, Craig Glenday, was quoted as saying by BBC.

Three days before the marathon, Singh claimed another eight records for 100-year-old men in distances from 100 meters to 5,000 meters. In fact, each time bested the previous record in that age division (some events had no previous record holder, as nobody over age 100 had ever attempted to run the distance).  It appears those records will be recognized by World Masters Athletics.

Last week's race was Singh's eighth marathon. He ran his first at the age of 89 and in the 2003 Toronto event set the mark in the 90-plus category, finishing the race in five hours 40 minutes and one second.

With the IAAF recently changing marathon rules and regs for women by negating any prior record set with a male pacer, it seems that setting (and keeping) a record is harder than ever.


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