IN MAY 2015, when city-based Salonie Pathania successfully completed Half Ironman race in Hawaii that throws the challenge of finishing 1.9 kms swimming, 90 kms cycling and 21.1 kms running in under eight hours, she had set her target — the full Ironman race.
Pathania is recently back in city after participating and completing the Full Ironman Race that was held in Sweden and required participants to complete 4 kms swimming, 180 kms cycling and 42 kms running, without a break within 17 hours. She completed the race in 13 hours and 56 minutes.
The accomplishment makes Pathania the first woman from Pune to complete Full Ironman Race, which is regarded as one of the most difficult one-day sports event across the globe.
Thirty-year-old Pathania is a full-time working professional and a passionate amateur triathlete. Talking about her interest in sports, she said, “Being fairly active in sports through school, a vehicular accident during graduation followed by a knee surgery made physical activity difficult. By mid-2013, I realised I was out of shape and started accompanying my father, a fitness enthusiast, on his early morning walks. Soon , I started running and did my first non-stop 10 km run in October 2013. A few months later, I found myself training for Enduro3 2014 in Pune.”
Enduro3 is India’s biggest team adventure race that tests competitors’ physical and mental endurance in trekking, mountain biking, kayaking, river crossing and rifle shooting. She did her first Triathlon in December 2013, after which she participated in numerous other races.
“After one gets active in any sport, one tends to keep pushing one’s limits. And hence in 2015, I started training for Half Ironman,” said Pathania, who received training under Pune’s Kaustubh Radkar, a 13-time Ironman finisher.
Alongside her full-time job at Bridge2Tech Consultancy, where she devotes nine hours, Pathania said training for the race was a tough and demanding task. While the training hours during the week were usually two to three hours before her office timing, during the weekends, she trained for nearly five hours.