Panaji, Oct 8 – Hundreds of triathletes from across India and 30 countries, participated in the IRONMAN 70.3 India race, which was flagged off by the Hon. Chief Minister of Goa ,Dr. Pramod Sawant at Miramar beach in Panaji on Sunday.
Nihal Baig from Andhra Pradesh was the overall first place finisher and led the men’s category with a timing of 04:32:05 to clinch the top spot for the second year in a row. Coming in second in the men’s category was L Biten Singh from Manipur with a timing of 04:39:24 and the third place went to Bishworjit Saikhom from Manipur with a time of 04:42:13.
Following close behind were the top women. The first to come in was Toni Snoxell from South Africa with a time of 05:09:10, followed by Tatiana Plyasunova from Czech Republic with 05:12:50 and coming in third was Timtim Sharma from Karnataka with a time of 05:23:33.
The top three relay teams were Team Arise Performance India with a time of 04:28:48, T.t B. S. Pioneer with a time of 04:40:21 and T. t B. S Warriors with a time of 04:55:44.
An elated Nihal said, “I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to compete at the IRONMAN 70.3 India because it’s the only IRONMAN 70.3 race on home ground. I wanted to absorb and experience the atmosphere here in Goa along with the triathlon community and I’m glad I did it”.
L Biten Singh who came a close second credited his success to his training, strong will and the support and training of the Mini Orange performance training academy headed by Anirban Mukherji.
The race’s 30 top finishers qualified to compete in the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, slated to take place in New Zealand. The globally renowned race, featuring a gruelling combination of swimming, cycling, and running, is India’s biggest and truly international triathlon, attracting participants from top Western nations as well as remote corners of Europe and South America.
Athletes kicked-off their journey with a 1.9 km swim off the beautiful Miramar beach in Panaji, followed by a challenging 90 km bicycle ride and culminating in a demanding 21.1 km run, starting from the Miramar circle. The race, known for its relentless intensity, has a cut-off time of 8 hours and 30 minutes, with individual cut-off timings for each leg. Only those who complete all three sections within the stipulated time will earn the coveted IRONMAN 70.3 India finisher medal.
With registrations pouring in not only from various states in India but also from far-flung countries like the UK, US, Russia, Bolivia, South Africa, Argentina, Estonia, and New Zealand, the event’s global appeal is evident. “India is now on the radar of the global triathlon community, and the spirit of camaraderie and personal growth is palpable among the participants,” stated Deepak Raj, franchise owner of the IRONMAN brand in India.
Apart from hundreds of entries from India, athletes from all six habitable continents namely North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Australia and Asia have registered to participate in the race happening in Goa. Since its inception, athletes from 50 countries have participated in the IRONMAN 70.3 India event, which was held in Goa for the third consecutive occasion.
Athletes hailing from Maharashtra, Karnataka and Haryana dominate the list of participants, highlighting the strong triathlon culture in these states. Over 150 women participated in India’s most popular endurance race, which also included a sizable number of participants in military service. 14 participants were above the age of 50 years.
AI-powered robots, specially trained rescue dogs and more than fifty lifesavers kept vigil over the triathletes participating in the IRONMAN 70.3 India, when they commenced with the first leg of the race with a swim in the Arabian Sea off Miramar beach in Goa.
This year’s event marks the third consecutive year the IRONMAN 70.3 India is being held in Goa. The event is supported by Goa Tourism, along with key sponsors Policy Bazaar, Delhivery, T10 Sports, Redbull and Hyperice. Nearly 700 dedicated volunteers ensured smooth passage of the race.