Ironman Bahrain 2018 is the one of the most special Ironman 70.3 races for me. After Trans Siberian Extreme and Great Himalayan Ultra I was in a hibernation mode and focusing more on training others for ultracycling, marathon and Ironman races. The Ironman group within the Miles N Milers Community is one of the most sincere and hard working. The group first started with two members Sachin Shirbavikar and Dr Abhinav Kohner. Then many more jumped in. Along the way around 8 to 9 months back Sachin and Abhinav both decided to do Ironman Bahrain. Dr Sanjay Jaiswal, Rajendra Jaiswal also joined in later and wanted to do Ironman.
Bhushan Vaswani, Dr Abhinav Kohner, Dr Parag Tapre, Sachin Shirbavikar all went on to do Ironman 70.3 Bahrain 2018 successfully. Dr Sanjay Jaiswal along with his two sons did the race in relay.
At the age of 47, Sachin is one of the most sincere and hard working athlete. He is a businessman by profession. Sachin is also a Diabetic patient for last 12 years. He has Improved his fitness and cycling skills immensely in these last six months before the race with his discipline with training and nutrition. Swimming is not his strength but I am sure after this experience he will improve a lot. Due to his Ironman training, he has no dependency on Diabetic drugs to control his sugar levels.
Bhushan Vaswani, 43 yr old, another businessman from Nagpur was the most latest entry in the Ironman Club on Miles N Milers. He has done Super Randonneur successfully. And then joined Miles N Milers for improving his marathon and doing Ironman someday. Regular training along with Sachin and Abhinav dramatically improved his fitness and he lost some 8 to 9 kg extra weight on the way. Bhushan is a naturally good swimmer and also got his personal best half marathon at Bangalore marathon. He was the dark horse of the race and finished first among the Ironman trainees of Miles N Milers at Ironman Bahrain.
Dr Parag Tapre, 46 year old, Paediatric surgeon from Akola is another example of commitment and dedication. He doesn’t train one to one in Nagpur but trains in Akola as per the training schedule provided. He is extremely meticulous in looking at his data figures. He got his personal best half marathon during training for Ironman Bahrain. During training he didn’t had access to swimming pool in Akola so he used to drive to Amravati or Khamgaon to get his swimming training done. On few occasions he also came to Nagpur to swim in Ambazari lake. For Parag all three disciplines come naturally. He is good at everything and with experience and more training history he will do better
Dr Abhinav Kohner, 45 year old, Orthopedic Surgeon from Nagpur, did Ironman Bahrain 70.3 successfully. Abhinav is great swimmer. He likes to run also. He is a reluctant cyclist and is always looking for reasons to skip cycling training. He also got a personal best half marathon during training for Ironman 70.3. Abhinav made sure that he gets his cycling training done for Ironman. He is a very busy orthopedic surgeon but his commitment to training will take him to many more Ironman race titles.
Dr Sanjay Jaiswal, 50 year old, Ophthalmology specialist and Director of Evista Eye Care from Nagpur did Ironman 70.3 in Malaysia successfully just three weeks back. At ironman Bahrain he did the race along with his two sons who are studying medicine in relay format. His wife did the IronGirl 5 km run at the race. It was great to see the family on an active holiday.
Rajendra Jaiswal trained hard for the race. Swimming was the biggest hurdle for him. In past two months he dramatically improved his swimming skill and open water swimming. His rate of improvement was not good enough to make the cut off time for Ironman race and was not able to progress in the race. He faced his weakness head on and tried to overcome it.
Dr Rajendra Sonone, a senior Anaesthesiologist from Akola, who was doing the race in relay format along with his son Viraj could not make the swimming cut-off. I am sure he will come far more prepared next time and may be do a Solo race in future. His wife who is a Gynaecologist did IronGirl 5 km run.
All these persons above are great example for people of Nagpur and Central India that Anything is Possible. They are busy professionals and in their forties and fifties but have taken out time from their busy schedules to train for a race like Ironman. For them the biggest competition is their own self. They have set their own goals, trained themselves and achieved the goal and have become their own heroes.
Personally, this was the most satisfying Ironman 70.3 race for me. After Trans-Siberian Extreme, my training has become second priority. I trained myself for last 5 to 6 weeks regularly and that too whenever I was able to find time. Training others in ultra-cycling, marathon and Ironman has been the priority for last three months. Looking at all the excitement for the Ironman among everyone I also registered for the race three weeks prior to the race. I wanted to be among them and see them finishing their first Ironman 70.3 race. Last year I had come alone for this race. This year I had a contingent of 18 people along with me. It was great family like atmosphere in Bahrain. Many people felt like they have gone back to college days.
As I was helping others to get ready for the race, I had to keep telling myself that I am here more as a coach rather as a participant. But at the same time there was lot of convincing going on in my mind that how I should race this Ironman 70.3 Bahrain. I got my personal best time in the race, 5 hr 20 mins (total time), and Net time was 5 hr 8 mins excluding transition times. Personal best time in swimming (45 min). All the training in Ambazari lake paid off.
Earlier I used to be the only person from Nagpur doing Ironman races regularly but at Ironman Bahrain 70.3 all that has changed. I was able to help and coach all of them to get to the finish line best possible way. For me the best moment was all of us jumping into the water together for the race. I told myself now I have brought them to the start line and now it is all up to them to get to the finish line. We were all together but still on our own…everyone was becoming hero in his own way…!
Dr Amit Samarth
Miles N Milers
Be your own Hero…!