The Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India along with state tourism departments of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, and union territory of Chandigarh are supporting ‘Spirit of India Run’ by Pat Farmer, a marathon runner from Australia. Pat Farmer will run over 4600 kms in 60 days starting from Kanyakumari and finishing in Kashmir. He has initiated his run on January 26, 2016 celebrating India’s Republic Day and Australia Day.
Farmer is a multiple world record holder for endurance running and has run from the North Pole to the South Pole, and across Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, the Middle East and North America. He has served eight years as a member of Australia’s parliament, with three years as parliamentary secretary for education, science and training. He has raised millions of dollars for worthy causes during his 20 year running career.
Farmer will run on an average 70-80 kms daily through the atates of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir and cover a distance of 4600 kms. Farmer’s ‘Spirit of India Run’ is aimed at cementing relations between India and Australia; encourage tourism and personal relationships with a view to create awareness of India as a ‘Must Experience’ destination for travellers from Australia; and support causes and charity, which in the current endeavour, is to raise funds for education of girl child.
‘Spirit of India Run’ is also being supported by Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), Federation of Hotels & Restaurants Association of India (FHRAI), Hotel Association of India, India Heritage Hotels Association, etc. The IATO is providing a set of two experienced and knowledgeable drivers in each state to ensure smooth flow of movement of the vehicles accompanying Farmer.
Farmer is running from Kanyakumari to Srinagar. He commenced the run on January 26, 2016 and would finish the run at Srinagar on March 30, 2016. ‘Spirit of India Run’ commenced in front of Gandhi Madapam, Kanyakumari and was flagged off by the district collector of Kanyakumari.
Farmer will be entering Goa at Margao on February 8. Goa Tourism will be assisting and coordinating all his arrangements while he is in Goa. To fecilitate Farmer, India Tourism, Mumbai along with Goa Tourism will organise an ‘Incredible India Evening’ at Margao on February 8, which will be attended by the members of the media, travel industry, hotel industry, government officials, school students and sports enthusiasts. Farmer will be leaving Goa for his onward journey into Maharashtra on the February 9.
As he enters Maharashtra, India Tourism, Mumbai along with Maharashtra Tourism will welcome him at Banda – border of Maharashtra. State government officials and tourism officials along with sports enthusiasts from Sindhudurg district will also be present. Farmer will be in Maharashtra for 11 days, covering Velagar, Malvan, Mithgavane, Ratnagiri, Valneshwar, Dapoli, Lonere, Pen, Shirsad and Kasa, and will be in Mumbai on February 17.
Further, Gujarat Tourism will take over the arrangements for Farmer at Bhilad, the Gujarat entry point. He will be in Gujarat from February 21-27, covering Vapi, Navsari, Ankleshwar, Por, Chaklasi, Ahmedabad and Himmatnagar. Farmer will further proceed to Rishabhdev where Rajasthan Tourism will take over the arrangements of the ‘Spirit of India Run’ along with the India Tourism, Jaipur.
All the state separtments of police, traffic, education, dports, health and media have been requested to extend their support in their respective states for the smooth conduct of ‘Spirit of India Run’. A day-to-day progress of the run is available at: https://www.facebook.com/Pat-Farmer-Ultramarathon-Runner-143609009007625 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v+E6Rb2XAd6R8