Pune: A 48-year-old Sukhdev Singh Somvanshi was obese and unfit in 2012. But now he has become ‘an Ironman’. He is the right example of transformation, hard work, passion and commitment. He finished the Ironman Triathlon in Hamburg, Germany on July 29, with a timing of 11:43:39.
The Ironman challenge consists of a 3.8 km swim, 180 km cycle ride and 42.2 km run to be finished in a stipulated number of hours.
“The Ironman title was in my bucket list for last few years. And I’m glad to finally earn it,” he told Sakal Times. In this event, 32 Indians participated and out of this 16 were from Pune. Sukhdev stood first.
Sukhdev started his fitness journey in 2012 at a neighbourhood park. He was initially fond of walking and yoga. Over time he developed an interest in running and took guidance from a local group named Pune Road Runners to train for Marathons. He ran his first Half Marathon (21 km) with a timing of 1:57:56 hours in Hyderabad in 2015. He did his first full Marathon (42.195 km) with a timing of 4:10:47 hours, a year later in Hyderabad in 2016.
However, the swimming event was cancelled due to blue-green algae at the swimming location. After the cancellation of the swim leg, they added running of 6 Km and reduced overall cut off time by one hour.
Then onwards he ran 9 half marathons with a personal best timing of 100 minutes in Delhi and 2 full marathons with a best timing of 3:51:26 hours in Bengaluru.
After a few years of marathon running, he set himself the goal of training for the Ironman challenge. He trained and participated in a local half Ironman distance triathlon event in Kolhapur on October 29, 2017, where he stood second.
The journey for Sukhdev was not an easy one. “The training regime of Ironman is demanding and needs high commitment and hard work. I had to manage long training hours along with commitment from work, family and friends,” he said.
Finally, on July 29, 2018, he participated in the Ironman Triathlon in Hamburg, Germany on and finished with a timing of 11:43:39. He was placed 6th amongst all Indian participants and 1st among all participants from Pune.