India's 'Faith Runner' Samir Singh sadly falls just short of 10,000km in 100 days record

On April 29, 2017 Samir Singh set out from his home in the Mumbai suburbs. Since then, he ran every day till August 6 through rain, injuries and fever. All of this while living on less than β‚Ή 200 (3 dollars) a day.

Tormented by blisters, illness and injuries, Indian ultra-marathoner Samir Singh got to within 36 kilometres of his goal. Photo credit: Indranil Mukherjee / AFP

His goal was to complete 10,000km in 100 days. As the injuries piled up for the running coach, he continued to run through first scorching heat and then freezing showers. Even contracting viral fever, a swollen knee and suffering from a gastro-intestinal infection were not enough to stop him.

However, these setbacks took their toll and he fell behind on his target. On the final day, the 44-year-old had to run 150km but was only able to make it to the 114km-mark, 36km short of his goal. At the end, his GPS watch showed that he had run 9,964.19km, almost a quarter of the Earth’s circumference over the course of nearly three months.

Samir, hailing from a village in Madhya Pradesh, was initially mocked by his friends but he was transformed by this run, christened 'The Faith Runner' as his unbelievable task captured the imagination of many.

He became a familiar figure on the streets of Mumbai with many runners inspired to join him for parts of his lengthy daily route. Despite falling short of his goal, Samir’s spirit is undimmed as he now plans another staggering running challenge.

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