Pune’s Patil is first indian woman to complete the Ultra spice 1750 Km

Anvita Srivastava
Monday, 11 February 2019

“I always had my eye on this race since its first edition,” Ila told Sakal Times.

PUNE:  Ila Patil, a 33-years-old corporate communication professional with a Pune NGO has become the first Indian woman cyclist to finish the Ultra Spice 1750 Km race in the last week of January. She also holds the distinction of being the first Indian woman to have qualified for the Race of America (RAAM) in 2016.

The 3rd edition of the Ultra Spice Race, a time trial (non stop) race, was flagged off on the January 26 from Bogmalo Beach in Goa and consisted of three distances - 600Km, 1000 Km and 1750 Km, comprising solo and relay team categories. 

Ila, the only woman participant in the 1,750 km solo participants, finished the race in 137 hours.“I always had my eye on this race since its first edition,” Ila told Sakal Times. “It was an exhilarating experience because the race route was enticing as it started from Goa. I was riding in the hills and touching states like Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The experience was difficult, challenging but exhilarating.”

Talking about the challenges she faced, she said, “I knew from the very beginning that it will be difficult and the idea was to finish the race.”

“During this race, I realised that logistics matters more than the training,” Patil added. 

She said, “I was bonking, lack of glucose due to improper nutrition plan, but one thing I know that I can’t give up after completing 1400 km of race. My idea was to finish the race rather than worrying for the cutoff and also to know about my limits of endurance.”

Ila, who started cycling as hobby for exertion few years back, feels that she loves enduring pain as it helps her understand her limits. Talking about her future plans she said, “I am definitely going to participate next year in race across western America which is 1800 km.”

“Although, there are still less women participants in races and I wanted to change that. As now when I have finished the race, a lot of women are feeling that it is feasible and even a women can also do it. So it is an amazing experience that somewhere my participation will bring this change,” said Patil.

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