A grandfather who struggled down the stairs after contracting Covid-19 is preparing to run his 37th consecutive London Marathon.
Harmander Singh, 62, of Ilford, east London, tested positive for the coronavirus in January.
He said he lost 12 pounds in a week while having Covid-19.
Describing his illness, he said: “In my entire working life, I never had a day off sick, so it was a new experience for me. I couldn’t breathe.He did not go to the hospital, but isolated himself in a room upstairs in the family home.
“After my period of isolation was over, I had a hard time going down the stairs,” he said.
“I did it one step at a time and I was a little shady.
“I started to walk a little more every day. It was a struggle.
“At no point did I say I was going to give up, but I was becoming more realistic about my chances of running a marathon again. But I was determined.
He said running the London Marathon would be the “biggest stepping stone to getting back to normal”.
“London is by far my favorite,” he said.
“It’s not just because I’m a Londoner, it’s really the best race in the world.
Mr Singh, whose personal best time for a marathon is three hours and 11 minutes during a race in Manchester, said he did not have a target time for the London Marathon on October 3.
“I’m going, for the first time in so long, to really enjoy it,” he said.
Mr Singh is the chairman of the Sikhs In The City running club, which he described as “the only Asian-run athletics club in the UK”.
He’s the coach of 110-year-old Fauja Singh, who he says is the world’s oldest marathoner – running his first marathon at 89 and his last at 101.
This year’s London Marathon will be Mr. Singh’s 164th marathon overall.
He’s also completed the Great North Run every year for the past 37 years and has said he wants to continue with both races until he’s 74, which means he’ll have run 50 of each.
“But it’s not in my gift, it’s to God,” he said.
He raises funds for Sporting Equals, a charity that advocates for equality in all sports.