With a combined age of 273 and over 130 marathons behind them, there will be few running groups as experienced Sikhs in the City at this year’s Bournemouth Marathon Festival.
Based in Ilford, North East London, the club are among the UK’s most distinctive marathon runners with their elderly membership, long beards and turbans. Their most famous member is Fauja Singh, the first 100-year-old ever to complete a marathon.
Now retired at 104, he is leaving it to the younger generation and five members of Sikhs in the City with an average age of 54 have entered this year’s event which takes place on the south coast on 3-4 October.
55-year-old head coach Harmander Singh is among the quintet. He has run at the first two editions of the Bournemouth Marathon since it launched in 2013. A veteran of 93 marathons, Bournemouth is scheduled to be his 99th marathon.
“I really enjoy Bournemouth,” he said. “I have done every one of them. It’s an absolutely fantastic event. Bournemouth is close to London and you get great support down there. The people there are lovely and every year it has been nice weather.”
Bournemouth Marathon Festival (BMF) has quickly established itself as one of the UK’s premier running weekends. It includes the luminous spectacular the Speed of Light 5k, the Supersonic 10k and BMF Junior Races on Saturday ahead of Sunday’s marathon and half marathon races, it has become a must-do event for friends and family seeking a fun challenge in a great weekend destination. It also has excellent transport links to London.
Last year 10,500 runners enjoyed a glorious two days with an estimated £0.5m raised for charity. To guarantee your place, visit the event website.