City-based sports medicine consultant Dr Anand Gangwal won his first Ironman title, whereas doctor of health administration and rehabilitation sciences Dr Kaustubh Radkar won his 14th one.
An Ironman triathlon is one of a series of long distance races organised by the World Triathlon Corporation consisting of a 3.86-km swim, 180.25-km bicycle ride and a 42.2-km marathon—in this order and without a break. It is considered to be one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world and most events have a strict time limit of 17 hours.
The event was held on June 26 at Klagenfurt, Austria, and as many as 2,900 athletes from across the world participated in it. From Pune, it was only Gangwal and Radkar who participated in the event, which had a scenic one-lap swim in Lake Waldersee (the last 900 metres in a canal).
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The two-lap bike course is a mix of sharp climbs and steep downhills, Dr Kaustubh Radkar told The Indian Express. This is followed by a two-lap run around the city of Klagenfurt.
In the professional category, Marino Vanhoencker (who had set the fastest time in 7 hours 45 minutes some years ago) won the title in 8 hours and 4 minutes, while Mirinda Carfrae—a three-time world champion was the winner among women with a time of 8 hours and 41 minutes.
Radkar, who finished the race in 12 hours and 19 minutes said he was pretty happy to have finished the race and it is a good warmup for the next event at Kalmar in Sweden on August 20. “That would be the 15th Ironman race I would be competing, but this time I would be running along with five trainee athletes,” he said.
For Gangwal, it has been a relieved and happy reaction. “I have done a half Ironman earlier and now with this one, I have achieved one of my goals,” he said. Gangwal completed the event in 16 hours and 31 minutes.