Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Marathon Boy Thwarted

This is a shame. Indian police have stopped a 5-year-old endurance prodigy from doing a 500k walk. Budhia Singh's already done a marathon, and apparently some soft Indian courts felt a subsequent 65k run was "torture." Interestingly, the run got into India's version of the Guinness Book of World Records. I had no idea India had its own book. I wonder who has the hot-dog eating title. Hmm... Anyway, Budhia's story has Hollywood written all over it. He's even got his own Bela Karolyi, a shadowy ex-judo instructor, Biranchi Das.
He grew up in a slum with his mother, who made a living washing dishes. She sold him when he was three to a street hawker for the equivalent of £10 as she could not afford to feed him and his sisters after her husband died. Soon afterwards Mr Das, a local judo instructor, spotted Budhia misbehaving during training and set him to run around the track as punishment. He then went off to work and, so the story goes, forgot about him. When he returned five hours later the boy was still running: "I was amazed," he recalled."'I knew he was something extraordinary."

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