Lt Col Srinivas Gokulnath today said power of the mountains helped him become the first Indian to finish the toughest cycle race, Race Across America (RAAM).
Gokulnath became the first Indian to complete the 4,900-km RAAM in solo category. Beginning from California, he completed the race in eleven days, 18 hours and 45 minutes.
“Whatever I’m, whatever I have achieved till date is all due to the power of mountains…the strength that you get
in the mountains can do wonders,” Gokulnath said, speaking at the 16th Girimitra Sammelan here.
Reminiscing about his postings at Siachen Base Camp and at 15,000 feet on the Uri mountains, the Army doctor specialising in aerospace medicine said the energy from mountains helped him achieve the feat of finishing the Race
Across America as well.
The 35-year-old cyclist said he used to climb gently in the four mountain ranges during the course of the 4,900-km
race and use the energy derived from it to pedal aggressively in the plains.
He termed crossing mountain passes — the race goes up to a high point of over 10,000 ft in Colorado’s Wolf Creek
Pass — as a “meditation”.
Finishing RAAM was a lifetime experience and the exhaustion while riding took him into the inner depths of himself which led to a lot of revealations, he said.
A solo rider has 12 days to finish the race and has to ride over 400 km a day to finish it in given time. Sleep is
for under 3-hours a day.
Gokulnath said the race taught him the importance of self-belief and the fact that most of the times, we create
Stating that he is a self-funded athlete, Gokulnath exhorted everybody to follow their own dreams saying anybody
can achieve audacious feats.
He had to take personal loans to meet the expenses of over Rs 15 lakh to participate in the race and clearing the
debt is the agenda now.