New Delhi: Pia Hansson, an ultra marathon runner from Denmark, who is one of the 15 elite runners participating in ‘The Great India Run’, is looking forward to her India experience starting next week. The 'Great India Run', India’s first ever multi-city marathon, will be flagged off from the capital on July 17 and will culminate on August 6 in Mumbai. The 1,480-km-long run will see the participants pass through Ghaziabad, Gurugram, Jaipur and Ahmedabad. The run also has celebrity runner Milind Soman running a special stretch of 570 kms from Ahmedabad to Mumbai via Silvassa. Hailing from Denbmark, Pia Hansson started her running career at one of the finest running clubs in her country. Since then, she’s run over 300 marathons and runs around two to three marathons a week on an average. She attributes her success in the sport to the love she feels for it. "When I run, I run without a watch. It's the running itself, and the company that I enjoy rather than the timing I achieve," Pia said when asked about what got her to running. However, it hasn't been all smmoth sailing for the veteran runner. She has to juggle her passion for running with her regular job. "I also work as a thatcher and I do get injuries there, but I don't let that affect me. Running is the time I'm free, and for me, it's sacred. For me it feels like the more I use my body, the more energy I get back. It makes me feel stronger," Pia remarked. Pia, who is visiting India for the first time, said adapting to the local climate is a basic requirement for long distance runners. "It should be great fun. You have to adapt to your environment quickly and I’m quite excited to be running in these new surroundings," she said. The 'Great India Run', which aims to boost long distance running as a sport in the country, will feature 15 of the best ultra marathoners from India and abroad passing through six states. The event will also consist of a five kilometre fun run as well as a half marathon (21 kilometres). The inaugural edition of 'The Great India Run' will see Indian athletes Arun Bhardwaj, Siddharth Choudhary, David Bredo, Yuri Esperson, Meenal Kotak, Ranjana Deopa, Sreekanth Reddi, Melanie Delainey, Dinesh Heda, Joginder Chandna, Pia Hansson, Sunil Sharma, Shweta Sharma, Kaushal Chauhan and Dhanee Kumar going the distance.