Pune: Lieutenant Colonel Srinivas Gokulnath, the first Indian to complete the arduous Race Across America (RAAM), shared his experiences with students of Army schools and institutes in the city on Tuesday.
Gokulnath, who is a graded specialist in Aviation Medicine, spoke about experiences, which motivated him to achieve this feat. He talked about his training for the event, previous failure to complete the treacherous race, and how it made his resolve grow even stronger to achieve something that seems almost superhuman.
The students of Army Public School Khadki, Dighi, Pune, Cadet Training Wing of Khadki, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Pune and Army Institute of Technology (AIT), interacted with Gokulnath.
The students asked many questions with respect to training, motivation experiences, etc. The talk was motivating for all the listeners, many of whom took a vow to start cycling from next day itself. The RAAM, known as the ‘world’s toughest bicycle race’, has over 250 competitors on a 5,000 kilometers route stretching from Oceanside, California, to Annapolis, Maryland in the USA. Solo racers are required to finish the race in 12 days or 288 hours for official completion of the race.
Participant’s race continuously day and night on their own backed by a crew of 8 to 15 people, who follow them in vehicles with food and supply. Just over 300 solo cyclists in the world have completed RAAM since its first edition in 1982.
In June this year, 11 days 18 hours and 45 minutes after setting out from California, Gokulnath created history by becoming the first Indian to complete what is considered to be toughest cycle race in the world.