Australian ultra-marathoner Pat Farmer and the Spirit of India Run have crossed into a new state.
On February 20, the Spirit of India Run team crossed into the state of Gujarat – one of the leading provinces for business and architecture in India and the home state of Prime Minister Modi.
Following a challenging two weeks in Maharashtra, Mr Farmer said he was looking forward to the excitement and energy of a new state with new language, culture and conventions.
“I’ve been looking forward to Gujarat for such a long time,” Mr Farmer said. “This wonderful state is where the Prime Minister hails from and so I feel very privileged to be here.
“Maharashtra was one of the most challenging states I’ve come through so far.
“There was an incredible amount of pollution in the capital city of Mumbai, yet on a good day it was absolutely breath taking and I would have loved to wander around in the markets.
“During this run I have experienced weather conditions that have been incredibly tough on the body and it was difficult to manage the 80km each day to this point.
“However, the one thing that has inspired me to push on regardless of how of how I felt in my health or how tired I was, was quite simply knowing that one day I step foot into Gujarat.”
During Mr Farmer’s journey across the Indian sub-continent, he said he noticed huge swathes of the country showing signs of growth and economic boom.
“I’ve seen much development in India – I know there is a free trade agreement between Australia and India on the table and if this goes ahead, which I have no doubt it will, it will provide incredible services for both our countries.
“One of the purposes of this run is to create greater links between Australia and India; greater links through sport, greater links through communication and greater links through communication.”
During the course of his run in the new state, Mr Farmer surpassed the 2000km mark of his journey which meant a change in his running shoes.
Now on his third pair, Mr Farmer said he plans on auctioning off the first pair to raise funds for Mahindra’s Nanhi Kali foundation, to support girl’s education.
Today, the Spirit of India Run will continue from the city of Navisari and will continue onwards to Ankleshwar. Their final leg in their Gujarati tour will be Ahmedabad on February 25.
For more details, follow the blog at patfarmer.com.