India's Anuj Goradia became the only Indian to finish the Ironman 70.3 Haugesund Norway early last month. In the gruelling event that includes 1.9km swimming, 90.1km biking and 21.1km running, Goradia clocked 7 hours, 32 minutes and 17 seconds to be ranked 75th in the male 18-24 years category, and 1,194th overall.
Goradia's split timings were 42:51s in swimming, 3:39:04s in bike and 2:37:43s in running.
Goradia, a student of the Pennsylvania State University in the USA, drew inspiration to participate in the Ironman from his father's friend, Nayan Shah. Executive director of Mayfair Housing in Mumbai, Shah completed the Ironman Cozumel in Mexico as a 51-year-old, clocking 16 hours and 45 minutes. Goradia's mother, Sejal constantly kept Anuj abreast with Shah's performances in Cozumel, generating further interest in the youngster.
Even while pursuing his studies, Goradia trained well for the Ironman. A powerlifter, a weightlifter, an orthopedic surgeon and a sports injury specialist, Dr Mihir Patki, trained Goradia for the demanding race.
Though in India for four months of the year, Goradia was in constant tough with Dr Patki regarding his workouts. Dr Patki, who is known to push his wards to go that extra mile, accompanied Goradia to Haugesund. The two spent time in Norway, getting acclimatised to the local environment including the cooler climate, the roads, the lake where the swimming leg was held and also the nutrition and healthy food available.
It was indeed a creditable feat by the young Goradia.