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When Milind Soman started trending on Twitter on Tuesday, I found a few tweets wondering what did he do. I might have had the same question had I not known already why he was in news. These days, when B-town celebs mostly trend because of a controversial stunt or statement, unless maybe when their movies are making news for right or wrong reasons, Soman’s athletic feat at the age of 50 indeed deserved all the positive response that he got from the twitterati, who are usually critical of everything.
The title of Ironman is something you cannot get easily — you have to earn it, having to complete the daunting triathlon. The race entails a 3.8-km swim, 180-km cycling and a 42.2-km run — all to be finished under 17 hours. And everybody who does that becomes an Ironman.
Soman took 15 hours and 19 minutes to achieve the feat at Zurich.
But when Soman was participating in the race, there were six other Indians too who attempted it along with him. One of them was even older than Soman. Anand Patil, a 51-year-old doctor from Mumbai, too completed the race and he clocked 15 hours and 53 minutes.
In all, five contestants from India successfully completed the race, and leading the team was Ironman coach Kaustubh Radkar, who won his 12th title at the Zurich do, clocking 12 hours and 32 seconds.
While Soman got so much of adulation on his first attempt, maybe partly because of his age and mainly because of his celebrity status, Radkar has had to be content with much lesser coverage.
I have been, however, reading about him in The Indian Express since 2010 when the swimmer from Pune, who was then pursuing an MBA in healthcare management of sports medicine stream at Baltimore in the US, had clinched his third title. Radkar has since won the Ironman title every time he took part, making it 12 in a row.
He has completed several Half-Ironman races (1.9km swim, 90 km ride, 21 km run) too and is among the few people who have finished an Ironman Triathlon in all six continents.
Dr Kaustubh Radkar is now a full-fledged coach training aspiring Ironmen, working around the world. He also gets invites to speak on topics ranging from training to racing, Olympics to Ironman.
When he went to Zurich this time, it was his fifth Ironman destination in just about one year’s time, about which he tweeted.
— Kaustubh Radkar (@IronCoachRAD) July 14, 2015
Fairly active on social media, he had also tweeted The Indian Express report by Anuradha Mascarenhas on July 1.
— Kaustubh Radkar (@IronCoachRAD) July 1, 2015
Radkar’s latest win qualifies him for the Hawaii Ironman World Championship to be held in 2017.
Here is wishing him another success. May he be the one to ‘trend’ this time.