Born on 6 October 1897, Dharampal comes from the village of Gudha village in Meerut, UP and is a farmer. He claims to have been running since he was a teenager.
“When I was young, I used to run from my village to the neighboring village, which was about 600 to 700 meters away. I would run several laps. I did not know how to run then, the technique of it, but I did it on instinct,” he says. He gets up at 4 am and runs four kilometers daily. He takes part in Inter-State level races for Veterans in the 100, 200- and 400-meter categories. To date, Gujjar has taken part in more than three dozen races in different parts of the country.
Gudha has lost count of the number of marathons that he has run. However, he recollects running at marathons in Allahabad, Nainital, Uttarakhand and Chandigarh, and claims to have run in 50 others. He states that he ran his first marathon in 1970.
In 2017, National Geographic did a special episode in their Explorer series investigating his life and success as a runner in such an advanced age.
When asked about his continued fitness, he says it is all about having a controlled diet. He has led a strict healthy lifestyle since childhood and gives credit to his balanced diet of self-prepared chutney along with mineral water and lemon juice for his longevity. “I eat a strict and balanced diet and have no illness. I stopped eating ghee and other fatty items almost 40 years ago, neither do I drink or smoke,” he said. He has been a strict vegetarian since birth.