Rishabh Jain, a resident of Udaipur, has become the first Ironman of the entire city of Lakes – Udaipur. Rishabh is a gym operator and has been into the field of fitness from last 8-10 years. With his hard work and dedication, he has made our Udaipur proud in the entire nation.
What is Ironman 2018?
Ironman Langkawi Malaysia is an annual triathlon organized by World Triathlon Corporation which consists of three endurance activities – cycling (180 km), running (42 km) and swimming (4 km). This grueling race takes place in the month of November in Langkawi, Malaysia.
Ironman Triathlon is widely considered as one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world. Every year thousands of people arrive at the event to win the title of Ironman but very few are able to achieve it.
The Ironman of Udaipur
Many pages of struggle, challenges, and victory were unfolded during our conversation with Rishabh. Let’s read what he has to say about his conquest.
What according to you is Ironman triathlon?
To me, Ironman is a race which doesn’t just tests your physical ability but also your mental ability. I remember the night before the race when many of the participants were going haywire with nervousness. That was the time, I realized that it’s about mental strength too. Preparing yourself to get involved in the 17-hour long race and creating the mental balance is no less than a war.
With more than 2400 participants this year, where around 50 participants were Indian, there’s one thing I can surely say that it was very tough.
How much training did you go through to become the Ironman?
The training period of mine was a mere 5 months which was way too less as Ironman requires a training of at least 1 to 1 ½ year. So it was already a challenge to me. For the entire 5 months, I completely engrossed myself in it. I was not a good swimmer or a good cyclist either, but with time and practice, I became one. I remember the struggle when I used to swim even during the winter evening and when I used to trek and run in the scorching sun of summers. Even after the muscle pain from the previous day, I had to train myself. I often thought to quit, but I think my motivation was way to bigger than that.
Now that we’re talking about the motivation, tell us what inspired you to pursue this triathlon?
Some 3-4 years back, I saw a huge picture covering the entire page of the newspaper. As I saw further, it was Milind Soman with a medal of Ironman and a big fat victorious smile on his face. Milind has always been an inspiration to me. The way he stays so fit even in this age has always worked as a catalyst for me. That was the time, I decided that for once in my life, I’ll achieve the title of Ironman.
What all challenges did you face during the race?
Well, there were several. To me, Swimming and cycling was the most difficult part of the race. I used to train in the swimming pool whereas, during the race, we had to swim in the sea where there were lots of harsh waves. And to add up to the difficulty, there arrived the thunderstorm which made several participants quit. For a moment, even I thought to quit but then I just asked myself a single question ‘Is it doable?’ The answer came yes and then there was no stopping before I reached the finish line of the swimming phase.
The second round was the cycling round. The path of cycling had an elevation of 1500 m which I wasn’t prepared about at all. So this one time, I fell down from my bicycle. I had such a harsh fall that as soon as I got up the first thing I checked was is there any serious injury in any part of my body. Luckily there wasn’t. Although, I had scratches on my entire left side, some way or the other I completed it and reached the final level which was running. After the cycling of 180 km, my legs were in tremendous pain. By the end of the race, I couldn’t really move my leg. But then I remembered what a friend of mine told me during such a situation.
He told me to tell my god that it’s only you doing it. If I win today, you win. If I lose today, you lose. And after the longest 14 hours and 29 minutes of my life, I crossed the finish line. Tears of happiness trickled down my face and I knew I have fulfilled my dream along with several others’.
We wish Rishabh all the very best for his future endeavors and to keep making our city proud.
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