Indian Ultra Marathon & Trail Runners to represent India at international level
The Athletics Federation of India (AFI)recently became the 83rd member of the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU). The IAU operates under the patronage of the IAAF and is dedicated to promote and develop ultra-distance running internationally within the IAAF Rules & Regulations.
Observing the enthusiasm and rapidly growing number of ultra-races in India and participation of Indian ‘endurance athletes’ both at National and International races, AFI had approached the IAU for membership.
AdilleJ Sumariwalla, President AFI and member of IAAF council, said after the confirmation of India’s membership being approved by IAU, “A meeting was held on the sidelines of the 208th IAAF Council Meeting in Monaco in the first week of February 2017 where I put forward AFI’s proposal to the IAU officials. AFI was very keen to get IAU membership as we want to organise Ultra-Marathon and Mountain Trail Runs in an organised manner. We want to promote Indian endurance runners at International level,”
“I am glad that IAU accepted our application and AFI is now officially the governing body of Ultra-Marathon and Mountain Trail Runs in India.”
The membership will now enable AFI to send endurance athletes from India to participate at the World Championships held by the IAU.The major events held under the IAU banner are; 24- Hour (Area and World Championships), 100 km (Area and World Championships), Trail World Championships and 50 km World Championships.
Welcoming the move, Kieren D’Souza, one of the youngest and most competitive ultra-athlete in India, said, “This is a wonderful initiative by the AFI and the IAU. This is a big boost for the running community in India and Ultra-runners in particular. I am sure this association will see Ultra-running in India taken to greater heights and help establish the Indian presence on the Global Ultra and Trail running map.”
ArunBhardawaj, the Indian Ultra-runner with the experience of 15 years, 10000 Km and 28 Ultra running competitions, said, “ The association of AFI with the IAU will open a new world for the Indian ultra-runners to leave an impression in the International Ultra-running circuit.”
After becoming the new member of IAU, the AFI will be selecting a team of Ultra runners next week to represent India at the The 2017 Trail World Championships to be held in BadiaPratagia, Italy, on 10 June 2017.
About Ultra Races-
Ultra races are contested over two different types of race modalities, either over a set distance or a set time. Examples of the former would be 50km, 100km and longer events while illustrations of the latter would be something like 6hr, 24hr, and multi-day events. Both are gaining popularity with the masses and bring their own unique challenges to the racers.
Races are organised on a) trails where athletes get to enjoy the serene environment of a forest. b) track when athletes do not have to venture too far from their start/finish areas and are always within visible region. c) road where athletes can enjoy their road running days and run through both quiet and busy streets.
Some ultra races are a combination of two or more of the available terrain, and some also span a few stages and are run over a course of days.
The major IAU competitions are :
100 km World Championships under the patronage of the IAAF
100 km Area Championships
24H World Championships
24H Area Championships
Trail World Championship
50 km World Championship