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How far would you run to change the world? This is the question race organizers posed before the launch of the third iteration of the Anantapur International Relay Ultramarathon, the first–and only–race of its kind in India. On January 23, 76 runners set out on a 170-kilometer route, each athlete running 40K before passing the journey along to a teammate.
Though dozens of runners participated in this year’s race, the idea behind the ultramarathon started with just one. In 2016, ultrarunner Juan Manuel Viera of Spain ran 150K through India on his own. One year later, he repeated the exercise with more than 40 athletes, leading to the continued expansion of the event for 2018. This year, the Anantapur International Relay Ultramarathon partnered with the Vicente Ferrer Foundation USA, a non-profit based in Washington, D.C. that strives to make impactful positive changes in India’s rural communities. As a result of this partnership, the race organizers declared a goal of raising enough funds to build 36 homes and contribute to infrastructure projects in Bhadradi, India’s Yerragunta village.
For more information about the Anantapur International Relay Ultramarathon, visit the Vicente Ferrer Foundation USA website, watch the video above and browse photos from this year’s race below.