A group of 76 runners (24 Indians and 52 Spanish) will participate in the third edition of the Anantapur International Relay Ultramarathon, the only relay ultramarathon in India. The objective is to raise funds to build 36 houses for poor families, water tanks, roads and electrification in the village of Yerragunta (Parigi mandal), from where the race will start on 23 January.
The athletes will follow a 170km long route through villages covered under the Rural Development Trust (RDT) integral development programme. The track will pass through Kollakunta, Mavaturu, Penukonda, Gondipalli, Kona, Chinnampeta, Kalikivandlapalli, Mamillapalli, M Bandamedapalli, Bukkacherla, Kakkalapalle, RDT High School for the Hearing Impaired in Bukkaraya Samudram, RDT main office in Anantapur, Kandukuru, Zangalapalle, Chintalapalli Temple and will finish at RDT Hospital in Bathalapalli.
Organised in groups of four, each person will run 40km in relays of 10. Once runners pass on the baton to their team members, they will be able to rest at their assigned transition point.
The initiative, supported by RDT, was originally launched by Spanish ultramarathon runner Juan Manuel Viera, who ran 150km solo in 2016. His enthusiasm motivated more than 40 athletes to run along with him in its second edition in 2017. This year, the event will also count with the participation of 10 local women as well as differently abled athletes.
The ultramarathon will be preceded by the Community Running Day, which will take place at the Anantapur Sports Village on 21 January and is open to the general public. More than 100 girls and boys enrolled in RDT schools and projects will also take part in it.