You are here

Solidarity marathon for Anantapur: An ultra-marathoner’s grand effort


Solidarity marathon for Anantapur: An ultra-marathoner’s grand effort

Juan Manuel Viera Fernandez, a renowned Spanish ultra-marathoner, ran 123km over 18 hours to raise funds for the Rural Development Trust (RDT), which supports the district’s marginalized and underprivileged population and empowers them through education, healthcare and rehabilitation.

Arriving in Anantapur from Gran Canarias, Spain, on 30 January 2016, Juan Manuel Viera Fernandez began his daunting run on 1 February 2016 from Muddiyanapalli to Father Vicente Ferrer, founder of RDT’s resting place at Bathalapalli. Along the way, Juan ran via Kaparlapalli, Kalyandurg, Atmakur, Kuderu, Anantapur, Anantapur Sport Village (ASV) and RDT’s Centre for Inclusive Education.

In an effort to re-live the footsteps of Father Vicente Ferrer and his journey through Anantapur before founding RDT about 47 years back, Juan ran a distance of 123kms over the span of 18 hours with two stops for about 20 minutes each at Kalyandurg and RDT’s Main Office in Anantapur.

Juan, a man who has practiced multiple sports for the past 12 years and runs to ensure his fitness is up to the mark, has participated previously in five Ironman Challenges. He decided to challenge himself further by shifting his focus to ultra-marathons and till date has participated in two Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) and the Transgrancanaria 2015.

He initially challenged his friends that he would run a marathon if they promised to sponsor one child for every kilometre that he ran. The response he got was overwhelming, after which he eventually decided to run an ultra-marathon for the cause.

Thanks to Juan’s run, RDT has gained support in the form of financial resources for 140 children as well as 15 Women’s Self-Help projects. These Women’s Self-Help projects are an initiative of RDT’s women’s sector that constantly works to empower women in their daily struggles of life by training them in various crafts to be more self-reliant.

Along with this, RDT will also receive a contribution of 4,000 euros for bicycles for young girls. The bicycles for girls programme provides female students with bicycles to ease their transportation hassles to school, as these children have to travel at least 4-5kms each way daily to attend school.

Juan shared with us that this is only his first time in Anantapur, doing this run to support the work that RDT does.“I am truly impressed by RDT and their work and I would definitely encourage my friends and supporters to carry on their support to the RDT in the hope that my run will inspire many others, especially the locals to do so too”.

[This article has been edited by the Operating Team]


Article type



Maxon Sequeira


Sunday, February 7, 2016 - 23:00