How do you complete one of the world's toughest one-day sporting events?

Updated: Nov 23, 2016, 12:05 IST | Shraddha Uchil |

Solonie Singh Pathania tells all over a weekend breakfast session

Solonie Singh Pathania
Solonie Singh Pathania

You have only 16 hours. In those 16 hours, you must swim 3.8kms, cycle 180kms, and then run 42.2kms. These are the sporting events you need to complete at Ironman, widely considered one of the toughest one-day sporting events in the world. And Pune-based Solonie Singh Pathania, the only Indian woman to complete it this year, will be in the city this weekend to share her experience.

Thirty-year-old Pathania, who participated in the triathlon (which took place in Kalmar, Sweden) for the first time this year, completed it in 13 hours and 49 minutes. In doing so, she became the third Indian woman to have ever completed this race. Pathania hopes to inspire others by talking about her achievement at Breakfast With Champions, a monthly meet organised by Let’s Be Outdoorsy.

“I was in an accident in college and required knee surgery, which made it tough for me to engage in any physical activity. In 2013, I started setting out on walks as a way to stay in shape. Soon, walking transitioned into running, and I completed my first 10km run in October that year.”

It was only a matter of time before she had moved to participating in triathlons. The passionate amateur triathlete balances her training regime with a full-time job as a marketing executive. “I train under the guidance of Kaustubh Radkar, a 16-time Ironman finisher. My job keeps me busy five days a week. Throw in my training schedule, and my days are absolutely packed. I train for about two to three hours before work from Tuesday to Friday, and stretch it to around five hours on weekends,” she says, adding that Mondays are for recovery.

The rigorous programme is accompanied by strength training and diet control. “As with all endurance sports, triathlons are as much about the mental training as they are about the physical. It is also important to have a healthy lifestyle,” she says.

Discussing the skewed ratio of men to women at such events, Pathania shares that out of the total 2,084 athletes that participated in the Ironman 70.3 Kona Hawaii, only 624 were women, with her being the only woman from India. She adds, “I was also the only woman from our country at this edition of Ironman Kalmar. I believe my story will inspire more women to go out there and test their mettle.”

On: November 26, 8.30 am
At: Patwardhan Park, Khar (W)
Log on to: insider.in
Cost: Rs 300

What is Ironman?
The first Ironman race was held in Hawaii in 1978. Today, the series has grown into a movement spanning the globe. Fun fact: those completing the race comprise a mere 0.01 per cent (1 in 10,000) of the world’s population.

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