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10,000km run fails in last lap

MUMBAI (India)

Tormented by blisters, illness and injuries, Indian ultra-marathoner Samir Singh got to within 36 kilometres of his goal of running 10,000km in 100 days when pain and exhaustion beat him.

Singh, who has been compared to Forrest Gump, spent nearly three months running between Mumbai’s slums and business district using donated clothes and equipment, and living on just $3 a day.

At the end of his attempt on Sunday, the 170cm coach weighed just 40 kilogrammes.

Singh started on April 29 in Mumbai’s scorching heat, and has been running through the monsoon rains without skipping a day. He needed to clock 150km on the final day on Sunday, after falling behind schedule through illness.

But the 44-year-old could only complete 114km, falling agonisingly short of his target.

“He was plagued by gastro-intestinal infections and contracted viral fever but has run 9,964.19kms in 100 days,” Vikram Bhatti, who handled Singh’s campaign, said.

Dressed in a blue sports vest, Singh started each day in the early hours from the northern Mumbai slums and headed to the business district in the city’s south.

“My journey of running 100 kilometres per day is very challenging but I wanted to show the endurance limit of human spirit,” Singh said.

“I survived without a job for the last nine months and people have come forward and supported me with donations, shoes, clothes and equipment,” Singh said.

Singh was spotted one day by Mumbai documentary-makers Vandana and Vikram Bhatti.

“We met him on the 47th day of his challenge and were taken aback by his story. So, we have been running a Facebook campaign to create awareness and generate funds for Samir,” Vandana Bhatti said.

Agence France-Presse