The International Association of Ultra Runners (IAU) initiated the 6 Hour Global Solidarity Run during the pandemic to bring everyone together spreading the message of unity and solidarity across the Ultra running communities of the world. This year too AFI participated with all enthusiasm and effort. It has been an overwhelming success and has helped create awareness about the Ultra running community. This event encourages many more to be a part of the Ultra running world!
This year we had a total of 9 male runners and 6 female runners representing India officially as the team for the IAU 6 hour Global Solidarity Run. We also had an AFI team to get more participants a chance to support and be a part of the event. We had a total of 10 male runners and 3 female runners who made up the AFI team along with the IAU representation. The team of 28 runners planned their schedules and training around this event in order to make it a success for the community. Unfortunately, days before the event one of our runners had a fall from his cycle and had to pull out. Nevertheless, we ran as a team with a total contribution of 1491 kms!
The runners reported their distances and progress by sharing their GPS data or screenshots of their devices every hour. They also shared their photos while running. Some even sent short video snippets of their runs.
We had runners running in different parts of the country – Lucknow, Hyderabad, Delhi, Bangalore, Himachal Pradesh, and more. Some of them battled the extreme heat and humidity of the Indian summer on open roads. Some runners ran in public parks and stadiums for safety reasons. It was heart-warming to see the running groups and communities that the runners were part of, come out in support of the runners. Everyone participated and supported our runners.
The Doon Ultra Runners, Unicorns of Lucknow, Feet Bees of Bengaluru are some of the running groups that came out in support to cheer and provide refreshments to the runners. Some of them ran a part of or the entire 6 hours with the runners.
The Indian Ultra running community is truly growing in numbers and we had enthusiastic participation for the 6 hour run. While official records will show 28 runners who participated in the event, we had many more who ran along with our runners. This event has helped spread the word about ultra running in the cities and many running communities.
We were also following the event page on various social media handles and were thrilled to see the participation from so many countries. It gives us immense pride and happiness to be a part of a global initiative that brings ultra runners across the world together. Running is a beautiful sport that always spreads love and compassion. We need more such events that bring the world together in these troubled times.
The Team completed 827,3 km
Dr. Rajat Chauhan