Running evangelist Milind Soman runs because “it is addictive, that feeling you get when you run. You just don’t want to let it go."

The former model and founder of Pinkathon, an annual run for women to drive awareness about cancer, will now run the 570-km-long stretch between Ahmedabad and Mumbai via Silvassa as a pilot route for The Great India Run, which calls itself the country’s first multi-city ultra-marathon.

Conceptualized by ProSportify in association with MobieFit, the ultra-marathon, to be held between 17 July and 6 August, will see 15 top ultra-marathoners, both from within the country and abroad, spanning 1,480 km and six states in 20 days. That means an average of around 80 km a day through Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Delhi.

Sreekant Reddi, who has completed over a dozen ultras so far and is all set to participate in this one, doesn’t seem to be particularly fazed. “You just need to take it in your stride and get on with it," he says, adding that his biggest challenge would be to cope with the pollution on the highway and ensuring that he gets his hydration right.

“You need to listen to your body and ensure you go at a sustainable pace," Soman says, adding that like most things in life, “your body begins to adapt. It is your mind that gets fatigued."

Organisers hope the Great India Run will become an annual event, the proceeds of which will go towards a charitable trust for sports development: the revenue generated from the inaugural edition will be donated to the Go Sports Foundation to further the cause of Olympians in the country.

It also wants to drive the cause of running itself. “Running is one of the most followed fitness activities globally," say Vishal Gurnani, director, ProSportify. “We are a young nation and it is critical for our progress that we remain fit."

Running enthusiasts from New Delhi, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Silvassa and Mumbai can register for shorter runs in their cities by logging into the website and also by downloading the Mobiefit application available on both Android and iOs devices.