India's 'Faith Runner' falters on final straight
Tormented by blisters, illness and injuries, Indian ultra-marathoner Samir Singh got to within 36 kilometres of his goal of running 10,000 km in 100 days when pain and exhaustion beat him.
Singh, dubbed "The Faith Runner" and inevitably 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 5ft 7ins (170cm) running coach, who also suffered stomach problems and viral fever, weighed just 40 kilogrammes (88 pounds).
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 (93 miles) 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 — which was the equivalent of about a quarter of the Earth's circumference.
"He was plagued by gastro-intestinal infections and contracted viral fever but has run 9,964.19 kms 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 ahead of the final run.