By Ramesh K Dhiman, Chandigarh, March 16 – UT Administration is gearing up to receive the legendary marathoner Pat Farmer (53), a former Australian Parliamentary Secretary and MP from Sydney, tomorrow, as a part of his 4000-km ‘Spirit of India’ run. Pat and his team will be accorded a rousing welcome by the administration on their arrival here. The run is supported jointly by the union ministries of external affairs and tourism and the state tourism departments.
Briefing media persons at UT Secretariat, UT Home Secretary Anurag Agarwal said that modalities were being gingerly worked out to receive the foreign guest and his team here. He said Pat, starting his run from Ambala on the March 17 morning, is likely to land at the city border – Zirakpur – at around 1 pm, would be accorded a warm welcome here with the application of traditional ‘tilak’ and garlanding ceremony.
He further added that the marathon will move towards Tribune Chowk, Transport Chowk, Mahatama Gandhi Institute, Golf Club, Punjab Raj Bhawan, before terminating at UT guest house. In the evening, the ace marathoner will be in attendance at a power-packed cultural extravaganza, from 6 pm onwards, which will be followed by an interactive session with the media at Hotel Mountview.
On March 18, UT Advisor will formally flag off the run at a see-off ceremony towards Punjab boundary near the YPS Chowk (SAS Nagar). Kick starting the run on January 26, coinciding with the India’s Republic Day and Australia Day, Pat will cover 4000km, from Kanya Kumari to Kashmir, in 60 days. A world record holder for his enduring run, Pat has so far run through, besides the North Pole to South Pole, several countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, et al.
Pat has an eight-year long stint as a Member of Australian Parliament and a three-year as Parliament Secretary for education, science and training. He has raised millions of dollars for a some worthy causes during his plus 20-year-long eventful running career. His ‘Spirit of India’ run is aimed at raising funds for education of girl child and cementing India-Australia relations, besides promoting tourism