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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 June, 2005, 14:33 GMT 15:33 UK
Runner, 94, finishes capital race
Fauja Singh
Fauja Singh shows off his medal at the end of the race
A 94-year-old athlete was first off the starting blocks as 11,000 runners took part in the annual Edinburgh Marathon.

Fauja Singh, the official starter for the race, was among 6,000 marathon runners and 5,000 relay competitors who took part in the event.

The race was won by 25-year-old Kenyan Zachary Kihara, who admitted he was surprised to take gold in his first ever marathon race.

Cambuslang Harriers' Robert Gilroy was the first British runner to finish.

The first female was Russian favourite Zinaida Semenova, with Aberdeen-born Shona Crombie Hicks in second.

I hope we will inspire young people to keep going and older people never to give up
Fauja Singh

Fauja Singh, who is from the Punjab in India, but now lives in Ilford, Essex, was last year signed by Adidas for the 'Impossible is Nothing' advertising campaign.

In 2003, he set the marathon world record for over 90-year-olds, completing the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in five hours and 40 minutes.

Mr Singh was also running the final leg of the relay at Edinburgh, with a team of four other UK Sikhs.

The combined age of the team, which is the oldest ever in marathon relay, is 397 years.

The youngest member, Amrik Singh from Glasgow, is 70.

Relay team

Mr Singh, a father of four and grandfather of 13, said: "I am extremely honoured to have been invited to start this year's Edinburgh Marathon.

"By running as the oldest ever marathon relay team I hope we will inspire young people to keep going and older people never to give up."

The race began in Holyrood Park and followed a route taking in Holyrood Palace, Princes Street and the Scottish Parliament.

Competitors from 45 countries converged on the Scottish capital for the event.

Organisers said it would raise 1.5m for more than 100 good causes, as well as generating 1m for the local economy.

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