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Fauja

Fauja Singh is the world's oldest marathon runner - at the age of 102 he still jogs every day near his home in West London.

At the age of 89, after losing his wife and his son, Fauja decided to take up running. Since then, he has completed 9 marathons, broken age-group world records in 8 categories, and carried the Olympic torch.

We caught up with Fauja to hear some of his wisdom...

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What makes for a happy life?

We all define being happy differently, but being positive in all situations and accepting what will be will be, plus seeing the happiness in children's faces makes me happy.

What opportunities does a longer life bring?

A longer life gives you the chance to learn more about nature, meet more people, see more places, and to help more people. For me as a Sikh, I can thank God for longer for all that he does for me and others.

How do you think society views age and older people?

Depending on where you are in the world, society views age and older people differently. In the East, culturally, older people are seen as wise and to be respected.

I've noticed that in more fast-moving societies, everyone is categorised depending on their current contribution to the world and quite often the older person's previous contributions and sacrifices are forgotten.

Not all old people are wise, but they should be respected.

How do you approach your own later life?

Since the tragedy of losing my son, I have moved on and decided to help others for as long as God allows me - I have lost the concept of time.

Being illiterate, I do not even know what date it is - how would knowing the date help me? I go to events and appointments as guided, share my experiences if invited, and enjoy each day as it comes.

If you could go back and speak to yourself at 16, knowing what you do now, what advice would you give yourself?

I am not sure if I know much more now than when I was 16, but I have collected a lot of pleasant experiences.

The advice I would give myself if I was 16 again is to get an education or a skill, savour every moment, avoid bad and negative company and any habits that destroy the mind and body - such as drugs and alcohol - not that I have ever consumed drugs anyway.

Respect everyone equally and remember God always.

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