Panaji (Goa): Triathletes and endurance sports enthusiasts from 30 countries will participate in the latest edition of the prestigious IRONMAN 70.3 India triathlon — the country’s biggest and truly international triathlon — scheduled to be held in Goa next month.
This internationally acclaimed endurance race spread over three sports disciplines — swimming, cycling and running — is regarded as a global benchmark for the ultimate test of endurance, grit and an athlete’s mental and physical strength.
The gruelling IRONMAN 70.3 India triathlon will begin with a 1.9 km swim off Miramar beach in Goa, followed by a 90 km bicycle ride, before concluding with a 21.1 km run; the latter two legs will start from the Miramar circle in Panaji, the state capital.
The race has a cut-off time of 8 hours and 30 minutes and each leg — swimming, biking and the run also has its individual cut-off timings. Participating athletes have to make it through the cut-offs in all three sections to complete the race and get their hands on that iconic medal.
“The response has been thrilling with participants registering from across India as well as 30 countries and counting. We have entries from the UK, US, and the Russian Federation as well as from other far-flung countries like Bolivia, South Africa, Argentina, Estonia and New Zealand among others which is a testament to the fact that India is now on the radar of the global triathlon community,” said Deepak Raj, chief executive officer of Yoska and franchise owner of the IRONMAN brand in India.
The triathlon is not just about competition, but also about the spirit of camaraderie and personal growth,” he said.
“Over 60% of the triathlon finishers in the previous edition of the IRONMAN 70.3 India were first-time finishers which shows that triathlons are gaining interest in the country,” added Raj.
Apart from hundreds of entries from India, athletes from six continents — 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 in Goa.
Athletes from Maharashtra, Karnataka and Haryana top the list of states with the highest number of participants.
In 2019, Bishworjit Saikhom from India won the men’s category in the IRONMAN 70.3 India (2019) with a timing of 4:42:44, while Nihal Baig won the title in 2022 with a timing, clocking 4:29:45. Bishworjit has registered for the upcoming event on Oct. 8th. Catjin Schierbeek also from Switzerland won the women’s category in 2022.
In all 30 slots are reserved for winners in their respective categories, qualifying them for the opportunity to compete in the 2024 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship scheduled to be held in New Zealand.
The latest edition on October 8 is the third occasion when the IRONMAN 70.3 India is being held in the coastal state of Goa.
Over 700 volunteers will aid in the organisation of India’s biggest endurance race, the organisers said, adding that the scale of logistics on the racing day could be judged by the fact that over 21 tons of ice and 23,000 litres of potable water are being readied for providing refreshments to athletes, volunteers and onlookers.