Pune resident completes two Ironman races in 8 days, takes personal 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.

Dr Kaustubh Radkar, a resident of Pune, has scaled new heights by finishing two Ironman Triathlon events within one week of each other. The 39-year-old athlete finished the Ironman in Estonia on August 7, followed by the Ironman European Championship at Frankfurt, Germany on August 15. Now, he has his eyes set on the Ironman Hamburg, which will be held on August 29.

On a rainy windy day at Ironman Estonia on August 7, Radkar finished his 26th event with a time of 13:14:04. At Frankfurt, Radkar finished his 27th Ironman event with a time of 13:03:15.

An Ironman Triathlon is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organised by the World Triathlon Corporation. It consists 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.

A doctor of health administration and rehabilitation science, Radkar, when contacted in Frankfurt, told The Indian Express he has always wanted to finish two Ironman events within one week of each other. In both races, Radkar had a stellar swim start, winning 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 windy conditions in Estonia and 30+ degree temperatures in Frankfurt. This made the second race even more interesting as I had to change my nutrition plan fully,” says Radkar.

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

“It was most stressful to practise 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,” he said.

Initially, outdoor activities were not permitted due to the strict lockdown, and fortunately those were relaxed later, Radkar says. “With no races in 2020, and 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 to make it three in four weeks, the most any individual has completed. He will be joined by three of his trainees from Radstrong Coaching – all first timers.

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