Aussie ultra marathon runner longs for a date with the Indian cricket team
Former Australian politician, long distance runner and motivational speaker Pat Farmer, who is currently in the city for the Spirit of India run from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, expressed his wish to meet the Indian cricket team.
Australian ultra marathoner Pat Farmer during a press briefing at the Trident Hotel in Mumbai on Wednesday. Pic/Onkar Devlekar
So far he has covered over 600 km of the total 4600km that he plans to complete in 60 days. During the day he runs about 60-80 km a day and spends time interacting with various people in the evenings. He started his run on January 26 - Australia Day.
“Though India and Australia have always had this cricket rivalry going for ages, the players have been ambassadors for the country for a very long time. I have never got an opportunity to meet the current Indian team, but I would love to someday,” Farmer, who ran from the North to the South Pole in 2011-12, told mid-day on Wednesday during an event organised by India Tourism and supported by the Indian and Australian governments.
The former Member of the Australian House of Representatives, recollected a speech he gave to the Australian cricket team way back in 2000, during the third Test match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Sydney where India lost by an innings and 141 runs. “The then-Australian captain Steve Waugh invited me to the dressing room and asked me to share my experiences with the team during lunch time.
I spoke to them about my running philosophy, which is basically — how you can achieve great goals if you take one step at a time. Next day, Justin Langer hit a double century (223) and credited me for his achievement. When people asked him what was the secret, Langer said, ‘I remembered what Pat said and went to the crease and played every ball like it was the most important ball of the match.”
‘Educating girls must’
Farmer also supports the education of girls in India. “If you educate a woman, you educate the family and in turn, you educate the country. The places I have covered so far, have a good literacy rate but still there are many unprivileged girls who are deprived of education.”
The ultra-marathoner is a vegetarian. “I prefer a vegetarian diet to maintain fitness. Since I require more proteins, I eat boiled eggs along with onions and vegetarian soup. What I liked about India is that people got me home cooked food and they shower me with love despite not knowing the language that I speak,” said Farmer, who wants to explore Mumbai’s temples and cultural centres.