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India

Record-Breaking 100-Year-Old Marathoner Keeps Running, But Can't Make Guinness

The new darling of the marathon scene is an Indian man named Fauja Singh, who can run 42 km in eight and a half hours. With that time he finished 3,850th in the recent Toronto marathon, which would be rather unremarkable -- if it weren't for the

Singh in Frankfurt (Suddeutsche Zeitung video)
Singh in Frankfurt (Suddeutsche Zeitung video)
Frederik Obermair

FRANKFURT -- The star looks as if he's asleep. His trainer says he isn't. "He's wide awake and can't wait until the next race," says Harmander Singh. His protégé looks like he in fact could wait. His arms folded, his head -- wrapped in a dark blue turban -- tilted forward, Fauja Singh is sitting in the lobby of a Frankfurt hotel. His eyes are closed. Two weeks ago, he was the first 100-year-old to run a marathon. The effort has tired him out, which is why he's taking a catnap – or at least that's what it looks like. But his trainer isn't having any of it.

"He says he's delighted with his achievement and all his fans," says Harmander Singh, speaking for Fauja Singh, who has yet to utter a word. Now, however, the aged runner opens his eyes. The scrawny Kenyans who won the Frankfurt Marathon point at him, whispering and giggling. His build is similar to theirs: short, slight, with thighs thinner than a well-fed person's upper arm. However, because Fauja Singh is old, his muscles are weak, and he needs six hours longer than they do to cover the 42 kilometer (26 mile) stretch.

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Society

The Ideal Age To Marry? Reflections Of A 20-Something Indian Woman

India is raising the minimum age for women to marry. What does that mean on the individual level (with your parents whispering in your ear)?

A couple holding hands after marriage

Priyamvada Rana

-Essay-

NEW DELHI — A few days ago, I got a call from my parents, who wanted to talk about the "ideal age to marry." This came after news about India raising the minimum age for women to marry to 21, to match the age for men. It's a laudable move, sure, but I even wonder if 21-year-olds will be able to fathom the expectations, responsibilities and limitations that come with such a socially-constrained institution.

I am not ready at 26, and won’t be even at 30.

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