Having made its presence felt a year and half back in June – July 2017, the Indian Ultra Running Team has left its first impression at the 2018 International Association of Ultra Running (IAU) 24 Hour Asia & Oceania Championships, Taipei. Ullas Narayan bagged the third position completing 250 Km closely behind the leaders from Japan, Yoshihiko Ishikawa (253 Km) and Nobuyuki Takahashi (252 Km).
The Indian Men comprising Ullas (250 Km), Sunil Sharma (202 Km) and LL Meena (192 Km) won the team third position with their combined distance of (644 Km). The team leaders in the men’s team event were Japan with a team distance of 756 Km and Australia with a team distance of 684 Km. Among the Indian Women two ladies achieved a 100+ miles in the race with Hemlata Saini completing 172 Km and Meenal Kotak 161 Km.
The Athletics Federation of India joined the International Association of Ultra Runners (IAU), which is the official body for Ultra Running. The IAU conducts International Ultra Marathon Championships and includes World and Continental Championships in the category of 50 Km Ultra Marathon, 100 Km Ultra Marathon, 24 Hour Race and Trail Championships. Since the first event in June 2017 when India sent a team of two men, Ullas Narayana and Kieren D’Souza for the Trail World Championships in Italy, the AFI has been sending the Indian Team for the 24 Hour World Championships, the Trail World Championships and the 100 Km World Championships. The Asia & Oceania 24 Hour Championships is the 5th event and where the Indian Ultra Runners have left their mark.
The Team comprised 06 Men including Ullas Narayana, Sunil Sharma, Lallu Lal Meena, Satpal Rayka, Vishal Adhau and Manoj Bhat . The women’s team of 06 runners included Hemlata Saini, Meenal Kotak, Aparna Choudhary, Shibani Gahrat, Smriti Kathait and Mamta Jaiswal.
Adille J Sumariwalla, President AFI, said, “This is indeed a very proud moment for Ultra Running in India. The aim is to leave an impression, and this is precisely what the team has done. Our endeavor is to encourage ultra runners to achieve higher standards comparable on the global platform. The Ultra Running Committee of AFI has been dedicatedly working to take the sport forward with a vision of excellence and free of drugs. The sport of ultra running is an athlete sponsored event and we are happy that NEB Sports, IDBI Federal Life Insurance and Adidas had come forward to sponsor the team and crew for this Championships”.