Australian ultra-marathon legend Pat Farmer has exited Mumbai, India’s biggest and busiest city and has continued north to his final destination in Srinigar, Kashmir.
After arriving just outside the city on the evening of February 16, the Spirit of India Run crew were welcomed by both state officials and the Ministry of Tourism which operates in the southern district of the city.
Though he is managing 80km a day, the athlete suffered from Achilles Tendonitis in his lower-left leg. According to his race doctor, Dr Joseph Grace, the inflammation was likely caused by the uneven surface on the roads Mr Farmer is travelling.
“The roads in India are built in such a way to account for wet season, and as such they’re not ideal running conditions,” Dr Grace said.
“Mr Farmer has taken approximately 1.7 million steps, or forces of impact to that tendon, and though he is a seasoned runner the sheer volume of steps resulted in inflammation leading to pain, swelling and stiffness.”
The medical director said Mr Farmer did not inform him of his injury until two or three days after the inflammation occurred.
“In Pat Farmer time that translates to 200-300 kilometres,” Dr Grace said.
In Mumbai, the crew met with their sponsors including Adani, Mahindra and Air India during a function that was hosted by Incredible India – a marketing and cultural arm for India’s Ministry of Tourism.
They were also received by the Deputy Consul General of Australia Joanne Lovejoy, the President and Chairman of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) Subhash Goyal and was felicitated by the regional director of India Tourism Vikas Rustagi.
During his speech, Mr Farmer said the legacy of his run will not only live on in the hearts and minds of the people he’s met with but also through the feature film being produced by Australian-Indian director Anupam Sharma.
“This is not about taking a photograph, this will be a work of art,” Mr Farmer said.
“This is a work of art that will hopefully show the feeling, the emotions and everything India stands for. There is a very good reason this run is called the Spirit of India and it’s not called the Australian-Indian Alliance and not called the Pat Farmer Run.
What we want to show is the things that unite us are greater than the things that divide us. It doesn’t matter what religion or what language they speak; there is such a multitude of religions and gods and personality of worships here.
“And yet there is a commonality called humanity.”
From Mumbai, the Spirit of India will continue up the national highway up to their final stops in their Maharashtra leg in Kasa.
Mr Farmer has so far completed over 1900km of his 4600km journey from the southern-tip of India in Kanyakumari, which began 23 days ago on January 26, 2016 – both Australia Day and India Republic Day.
Mr Farmer’s next state he will be travelling through is Gujarat, which is often referred to as the jewel of western India.
For more details, follow the blog at patfarmer.com.