11 Indian Triathlon Athletes Who Won The #Ironman Title This Year

11 Indian Triathlon Athletes Who Won The #Ironman Title This Year

A lot of us have mostly heard of the Ironman Triathlon because of model-turned-marathon-athlete, Milind Soman who won the title earlier last year. It was partly his age and partly his celebrity status that allowed him to collect the volume of accolades he did, though we doubt any man who can swim, run, and cycle across chosen terrains for kilometres at a stretch, for over 15 hours, is in it for the fame at all. But ever since then, triathlon athletes in the country have become more known than they were before. And triathlon - the event itself - has gained unprecedented popularity. To win, or even participate in the event, is no easy feat. To win the title of ‘Ironman,’ participants are required to complete a 3.8 kilometre swim, a 180.2 kilometre-long bicycle ride, and a 42.2 kilometre run race in this exact order within 16 hours to bag the title for themselves.

And, at Homegrown, we feel anyone who can do all of that in less than a day deserves immense respect and recognition. As the year comes to an end, we decided to look back at the triathlon atheles who managed to bag the title in 2018. And boy, were we impressed. From IPS officers to entrepreneurs to techies, the list is full of diverse Indians from all walks of life who have participated and completed the race this year. Here are 11 individual whose stories will inspire and motivate you to take up more challenges this year

I. General Vikram Dogra

This 59 year old man is the first Indian army officer to have completed the Ironman Triathlon . General Dogra completed the triathlon held in Klagenfurt, Austria in 14 hours and 21 minutes and earned the title of Ironman. The event had 2,850 participants from 50 different nations. He has been an avid sportsman all his life and started cycling around five years ago, which ultimately led him to participate in the several marathons, cycling evens and triathlons subsequently.

“I did it as a personal goal. Since I’m retiring at the end of January, and once you are settled, rarely there is not much of a challenge left at work. When I was scanning through events, I found the Ironman event to be interesting, and therefore, I thought it would the appropriate challenge to take up.” he told the Republic Times. Major Dogra has been a Sword of Honour and a gold medalist from his batch of December 1981 but his thirst for titles has not yet been satisfied and he plans to cycle across the five continents next year.

II. Rahul Sankaranarayan

Rahul Sankaranarayan from Chennai is the fastest Indian to complete the Ironman Triathlon. He is a qualified marine engineer who was a part of the corporate world before officially taking up coaching to help numerous runners across different age groups to achieve their running goals. He earned the title of Iron Man after completing the triathlon conducted in South Africa in 10 hours and 57 minutes and has already bagged the same in the year 2014 too.

Rahul’s first experience with sports was when he began doing marine engineering in Pune where it were a 3km run everyday was a part of the curriculum. He soon became a member of the Chennai Trekking Club and took up training to take part in triathlons conducted by it. He plans to continue participating in various triathlons organised across the world for the next 10 years. “I’ve discovered that it’s in pushing myself beyond my comfort zone that I learn more about myself.’ he explained to The Hindu.

III. Krishna Prakash

This officer from the Indian Police Service is the first Indian civil servant to earn the Ironman title. He finished the triathlon held in Vichy, France in 14 hours and 8 minutes. Mr. Krishna Prakash currently serves as the IG VIP security in Mumbai and belongs to the IPS batch of 1998.

His first marathon was the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon where he was in charge of the overall security and decided to run in whim. He was able to complete it successfully and hasn’t looked back since then.“ I am very happy to have successfully completed this challenge, it wouldn’t have been possible without my family, friends and colleagues.” he told Mumbai Live.

IV. Amit Chaturvedi

Amit is a businessman from Jaipur who participated in the Ironman Triathlon held in Karten, Austria in the month of July. He complete the race to earn the title of Iron man in 14 hours and 23 minutes.

His first experience of the sport was at the Delhi Half Marathon in 2011 after which he got dedicated to it and went ahead to participate in several marathons in the cities of Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur. “I feel incredible as I achieved it after a lot of persistence, training and hard work after making a lot of personal sacrifices. The satisfaction is not something one can explain in words.” he expressed to the Times of India.

IV. Praveen Kumar Teotia

Praveen became the first differently-abled Indian to earn the the Iron man title after he managed to finish the triathlon held in South Africa in 14 hours and 19 minutes. This former Marine Commando has amazed people by never backing down in face of several obstacles that come his way in life.

He was a part of one of the teams that entered the Taj hotel during the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai. The incident left him injured and disabled for the rest of his life which caused him to have an aversion to sports or any activity requiring him to use physical strength. It was finally in 2015 that he decided to run the half marathon in Mumbai which brought him to the scene which he eventually got hooked on to, eventually challenging himself to achieve bigger feats. “When you create a wall in front of you, it will only get higher if you don’t address it. If you focus on the cannot, you’ve already lost out on what could be,” he told Live Mint.

V. Suresh Samchandy

Suresh participated in the Iron Man Triathlon conducted in the city of Copenhagen in Denmark and bagged the title after he reached the finishing line in 14 hours and nine minutes.

This charter accountant who is currently between jobs never considered himself to be a very athletic person until he participated in one of the 5km runs in Bengaluru. He had started preparing for the event only three month before on the suggestion of his colleagues and faced a lot of scepticism from people because of his decision but he managed to earn the title nevertheless. “A Triathlon is a great way to bring diversity in one’s fitness journey. I hope to inspire others and encourage them to become Ironman.” he explained to The Hindu.

VI. Anju Khosla

This 52-year old became the oldest Indian women to compete in the Iron man Triathlon. She successfully completed the race conducted in Austria in 15 hours and 54 minutes. She is the founder of the micro-finance company Capital Trust.

Anju underwent a gruelling training session for 10 months and ran in several marathons in Delhi and Mumbai to test her endurance in order to be a part of the race. “All credit goes to my Pune-based coach Kaustubh Radkar for his scientific training because of which I could complete the Ironman Triathlon,” she told the Hindustan Times. She plans to do more triathlons in the future with her husband who has also become her partner in training.

VII. Rhythm Garg

This 33-year old director of an engineering company from Agra, finished the triathlon conducted at Cervia, Italy in 15 hours and nine minutes. About 2800 people coming from different countries and and age groups participated in the race.

Rhythm trained for the event for a duration of eight to ten months with the assistance from a coach. “In India, we do not have the facilities for sports, like open swimming in the ocean waters. The immense satisfaction of running with the Indian flag and sporting it at the finishing point, remains unmatched and fills me with a sense of pride, that Indians can do it,” he mentioned to Outlook India. He plans to work on promoting adventure sports in the city of Agra in the future.

VIII. Sravan Kumar

This 53-year old City commissioner from Nashik earned the title of Ironman and became the first police officer from the country to have achieved the feat. Mr. Singhal participated in the race held in France and managed to complete it in 15 hours and 9 minutes.

It was at a felicitation ceremony of someone who had won the Ironman Triathlon last year that he was inspired to take part in the same. He subsequently started running in marathons and participating in cycling expeditions to train himself for the same. “I was representing of Nasik as the commissioner and also the IPS officials of the country. I wanted to do it and I managed to.” he told, The Times of India. He believes that the residents of his city are taking up and focusing activities like cycling, swimming and running and it soon going to be known as the ‘fitness capital’ of the country.

X. Nikhil & Kiyan Kapoor

Nikhil Kapoor, a businessman and founder of India’s biggest wellness retreat, Atmantan has been a part of five Ironman Triathlons since 2014. He got interested in the event in the year 2012 and knew he had to be part of it. His most recent participation in the event held in Hamburg is said to the most memorable of it all because of the participation of his nine-year old son, Kiyan in the event. They are the first Indian father and son duo to take part in the race.

Nikhil is said to have achieved the feat after completing it in 13 hours and 30 minutes. He and his family share the same love and enthusiasm for the sport. The duo underwent months of training and maintained a balanced diet in order to be part of the event and ultimately proved their roles as the faces faces of a wellness organisation.

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