Kuo Ting-hu (C) gets a trophy from Douglas Hsu (R).
Photo courtesy of Hsinchu County government.
Taipei, Oct. 16 (CNA) A 101-year-old man captured the spotlight on Sunday from 7,800 runners at an international marathon after crossing the finishing line in the 9-km run.
This was the eighth time Kuo Ting-hu (郭庭虎) from Taoyuan has taken part in the Far Eastern New Century Classic Marathon event in Hsinchu County, having participated in each of the past seven years.
His son Kuo Sen （郭森）said his father gets up at 4:00 a.m. almost very morning to go running whatever the weather.
The son said about 10 years ago, he found out his father was interested in running so they both registered to take part in the event in what was then Taipei County -- now New Taipei City.
The senior Kuo came fifth in his age group in that first race. Father and son then started taking part in races across Taiwan, often in as many as 30 a year, earning all manner of trophies and awards which now decorate their homes.
Douglas Hsu（徐旭東）, chairman of the Far Eastern Group and sponsor of the marathon, was excited to see the centenarian finishing the 9-km run and lauded him for "showing strength in spite of advanced age."
"Mr. Kuo is the best example of running to stay healthy," Hsu said.
The event was divided into three groups: 42-km, 23-km and 9-km. The course took runners along country roads in Xinpu, Guanxi and neighboring townships, dotted with traditional Hakka temples and factories producing local delicacies.
The organizer said the event has grown from 500 runners to nearly 8,000 in just eight years. This year, when registration began in mid-June all the places were taken in 10 days, with runners from 21 countries registering to take part.
(By Kuan Jui-ping and S.C. Chang)