Updated: August 31, 2021 10:18:20 am
Nashik psychiatrist Dr Devika Patil completed the gruelling Ironman triathlon at Hamburg on August 29 with an impressive timing of 13 hours and three minutes to become the second fastest Indian woman ever at the event.
The 28-year-old was among 10 participants from India at the event, of whom eight finished the non-stop 3.86-km swim, 180.25-km bicycle ride and 42.2-km run within the stipulated time.
Four of the finishers were from Pune, including Kaustubh Radkar who now has 28 Ironman finishes to his credit. Another notable finisher from the city was businessman Dashrath Jadhav, who, at 64, is the country’s oldest athlete to boast of the feat.
An Ironman Triathlon is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organised by the World Triathlon Corporation. It is widely considered to be one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world with most competitions having a strict time limit of 17 hours.
Dr Patil, who is still in Hamburg, told The Indian Express: “I had been training very hard since January for this race.”
Dr Patil, who was working in Mumbai but moved back to her hometown Nashik due to the lockdown, said, “Pools were shut, so we had to seek special permission to use them at a government facility.”
A national record holder at ultra-cycling event ‘Everesting’ and winner of several other races, Dr Patil said her schedule included 15-20 hours of training for the last seven months under Chaitanya Velhal of PowerPeaks Academy.
Dr Rahul Zanjurne, who has a hospital at Hadapsar, said he could go for training only after his work hours. “On alternate days, I made it a point to cycle for two hours and practise running. Special permission was sought for swimming at Kasarsai Lake at Hinjewadi,” says the 42-year-old orthopaedic doctor, who also trained with Velhal.
The Hamburg Ironman is considered a tough event as it requires athletes to swim through freezing waters, and cycle on wet and slippery roads. “A lot of athletes struggled though this as most Indians are not used to the cold conditions of Europe,” Velhal said.
Radkar, who has coached several Ironman aspirants, said, “Over the past few years, there has been a huge interest in the Ironman event and it is heartening to see athletes as young as 18 and as old as 64 participating in the event.”
Others from India who finished at the event were Dr Arun Gachale, Prasad Patil and Hemant Parmar.
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