“The essence of participation lies in challenging and competing with the self,” says IronMan Triathlon North American Championship finisher Dr. Swaroop.
As children, we all must have heard this phrase, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Dr. Swaroop Puranik can be considered as a person who kept this phrase etched in his mind and heart all along. Apart from being a Director at the DY Patil University, Navi Mumbai and Project Head of the newly established DY Patil Private University, Pune, the 38 year old IIM Alumnus is a passionate triathlon athlete by heart.
Now you must be wondering, what is so special about managing work and being an athlete? To bring to your notice, The IronMan Triathlon is considered as a litmus test of physical and mental strength of an individual. It consists of a 3.86 km swim, 180 km of bicycle ride and a 42.2. km marathon, which needs to be completed in the same order within 16 hours. Dr. Swaroop has completed it the Iron Man 70.3 at Dubai on 1st February, 2019 and IronMan North American Championship at Texas, USA on 27th April 2019.
The adventure comes to India this year! The Half IronMan 70.3 is going to be organised for the first time at Miramar Beach in Goa on 20th October, 2019. Participants will enjoy visiting and racing in Goa which is the #1 tourist destination in India. The beach is listed amongst the most popular beaches of Goa due to its location.
Since it is a Half IronMan, the distance and time limit will be reduced by half compared to a normal IronMan Championship. The race begins on the serene Miramar beach with 2 x 950 m loop swim course in the shores of the Arabian Sea. Athletes exit the swim and move to the transition area located along the beach. Athletes will then start a scenic 3 lap x 30 km bike route passing the city overseeing the Jetty, floating casinos and riding along the Mandovi river causeway. Athletes then head back towards Miramar beach to transition and start the 21 km three loop run course. The run course is well shaded for most of the route and athletes run towards another key touristic spot of Goa, Dona Paula beach. They will cross the finish line on the Miramar beach.
What is more exciting is the fact that, Dr. Swaroop Puranik will be participating in the race. He is an IronMan Triathlon North American Championship finisher which very few people has completed. “I am still recovering from the injury I sustained to my spine during my Full Ironman championship and have not trained for last 5 months but I cannot let this opportunity go by. Organizers were very kind to extend an invitation to me to participate and I cannot miss it. I’ll not compete but I’ll participate and will try to finish the race, if my back permits,” Dr. Swaroop said with a smile on his face.
Sharing his excitement on being a part of this completion, Dr. Swaroop, shares some golden rules that the participants need to keep in mind on the race day.
“Be conservative when you start the race. If you think of finishing in 7 hour duration, plan for 7 hour 30 minutes to start with. Avoid having an aggressive start,” says Dr. Swaroop who is one among very select bunch of athletes in India to have earned the title of IronMan. He says that, “It is important for participants to have a realistic approach which will help them manage their time and energy efficiently. Speaking in this regard, he says that it is best to have a slow start. One might think to have an aggressive start and cover maximum distance in no time. However, this is a type of race which demands endurance. It is best to have a slow start as it gives the body enough time to get suited to the conditions and get into rhythm”. As you progress, there will be people and volunteers cheering for you. Talking about the mental and physical toll that this competition can take on the participants, Dr. Swaroop said, “Do not lose your head and respect them volunteers and crowd. Even if you are exhausted and things do not go your way, be a sport and accept what comes to you with a smiling face.”
“Though it’s a Half Ironman race, still it can be very grueling race. The essence of participation lies in challenging and competing with the self and not with a fellow participant. In case there is a participant who overtakes you, it is best to respect the athlete and not chase him/her down for a short lived victory. This will also prevent accidents during the competition. It is best to be vigilant and mindful of the fellow participants and the route in order to avoid mishaps,” said Dr. Swaroop.
Talking about post race fatigue and supplements, the IronMan says that it is mandatory to have a proper intake of nutrition’s for the next 48-72 hours. The physical toll on the body will last and hence, the right amount of food will help you sustain.
Dr. Swaroop has been an active participant in marathons for more than 2 decades. At present, he is recovering from an injury he sustained during the IronMan Championship held at Texas. Apart from marathons, he has actively participated in aquathalons (swimming and running) and duathlons (cycling and running). He is also a Super Randonneur, a title given to those who complete four brevets (cycling events of 200km, 300km, 400km, 600km, 1000km which are held by Audax India Randonneur and officially recognised by Audax Club Parisien) in one calendar year.
About Dr. Swaroop Puranik
A post graduate from IIM Calcutta having a BDS degree from the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences followed by an MDS in Periodontics and Oral Implantology, Dr. Swaroop Puranik is also a six sigma black belt and also holds certification in HIPAA. He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Research, Clinical/Medical Laboratory and a Post Graduate Diploma in Medico Legal Systems.