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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Doctor from Pune completes two Ironman events in eight days, takes tally to 27

Dr Kaustubh Radkar has set his eyes on Ironman Hamburg to make it three in four weeks, the most any individual has completed.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
Updated: August 17, 2021 6:49:19 pm
Dr Kaustubh Radkar

Dr Kaustubh Radkar, a 39-year-old doctor from Pune, recently finished two Ironman events within one week of each other. He finished his 26th Ironman at Estonia on August 7 followed by the Ironman European Championship at Frankfurt on August 15. Now, he is aiming to finish the Ironman Hamburg, to be held on August 29.

An Ironman Triathlon is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organised by the World Triathlon Corporation consisting of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.2 km) run, in that order. It is widely considered one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world.

At Ironman Estonia on August 7 on a rainy and windy day, Radkar finished his 26th Ironman with a time of 13:14:04, followed by the event in Frankfurt, where he finished his 27th Ironman with a time of 13:03:15.
A doctor of health administration and rehabilitation science, Radkar, when contacted in Frankfurt, told The Indian Express that he has always wanted to finish two Ironmans within one week of each other. In both races, Radkar had a stellar swim start and won in his age group (35-39). After that, he says, it’s all about mental fitness.

“The weather conditions for both races were extreme, with cold, rainy and windy conditions in Estonia to 30+ degree temperatures in Frankfurt… it made the second race even more interesting as I had to change my nutrition plan fully,” says Radkar.

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced huge changes in the 2020 race schedule, with numerous events being cancelled or postponed. Radkar said the races had fewer participants as people were scared to travel due to Covid restrictions. Still, the Ironman event at Estonia had 1,200 participants and the Frankurt one had 1,500 participants.

‘`It was most stressful to practice swimming during Covid. Pools were shut and barely opened for two months before they were closed again. It definitely hampered my training but I did land drills to mimic swimming,” says Radkar.

Initially, outdoor activities were not permitted due to the strict lockdown but the norms were relaxed later, says Radkar. “With no races in 2020 and a lack of clarity earlier this year, I tried my best to maintain my training to a level that I could do an Ironman,” he adds.

Now, Radkar has set his eyes on Ironman Hamburg, and wants to finish three events in four weeks, which would be a new record. He will be joined by three of his trainees from Radstrong Coaching, all first-timers.

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