November 2, 2017 6:05:18 am
PUNE’S Kaustubh Radkar (35) is the first Indian to both qualify and complete the Ironman World Championship, which was held in Kona, Hawaii, on October 14 this year. This is the 19th championship Radkar has participated in.
An Ironman Triathlon is one of a series of long-distance triathlon 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 run-raced in that order and without a break. Widely considered as one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world, the event has a strict time limit of 17 hours to complete the race.
Radkar said his timing was far slower than what he had trained for — 13hrs 46 mins. The event was tougher this year due the scorching heat, he added.
“The conditions were tough right from the 3.8 km swim in the choppy waters of the Pacific Ocean,” said the city-based doctor of health administration and rehabilitation sciences. Although this is Kaustubh’s best of the three disciplines, he said higher intake of water slowed him down and resulted in gag reflexes while swimming.
The cycling section of 180 kms goes through volcanic fields that are known to dissipate extreme heat, while the gusty wind can cause cyclists to sway side by side. Radkar said he struggled with the bike’s mechanical issues caused by damage, along with constant vomiting from 110 kms, resulting in massive cramping, loss of energy and dehydration. Still, he could finish the bike in seven hours and one minute, far slower than his personal best.
Radkar said the run was non existent from the start, as the issues on the bike had led to extreme fatigue, but he kept going, walking, jogging almost crawling at one point, to finish in 13 hours 46 minutes.
“It was a great honour to represent India and, of course, finish the event against all these challenges,” he added. Next target, he said, is on his trainees, who will be attempting Ironman Malaysia on November 11.
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