Mumbai, 29 May, 2019 (GPN) : Where there is a will there’s a way. And for Dr. Swaroop Puranik, there was nothing that could come in the way of his strong will to complete Iron Man Triathlon – arguably the toughest endurance test in the sporting world.
Dr. Swaroop Puranik, a 37-year-old Periodontist, who juggles his responsibilities as a Director at the DY Patil University, Navi Mumbai – one of India’s largest educational and business groups – and a triathlon athlete, successfully managed to accomplish his 2nd Iron Man North American Championship at Texas, USA on April 27 this summer. Prior to this Dr. Swaroop completed Iron Man 70.3 Championship at Dubai on Feb. 01, 2019.
For the records, Iron Man Triathlon is an extreme form of Triathlon and comprises of 4000 meters of open water swim + 180 km cycling + 42km Run, raced in that order and without a break. It is widely considered as the most grueling one-day sporting events in the world, with a limited time of 16 hours to complete the race. Participants don’t win the championship, but one who completes receives the title of being an IRON MAN.
On the official records, time taken by Dr. Swaroop to complete each sport are as follows in (Hrs: Min: Sec): Swimming (01:27:36), Cycling (07:09:29) and Running (07:35:43) resulting in finishing the Iron Man championship in 16 hours 31 Minutes and 12 Seconds. Mr. Mike Riley, Most famous Announcer, every Iron Man finisher wants to see him at the finish line, gave hi-five to Dr. Swaroop after completing the championship (can be seen in the pic.).
Dr. Swaroop says, “What I felt after finishing the race is inexplicable. It is about achieving something which less than 0.1% of the world athletes accomplish, it is about sacrifices that not just you, but your family too have made. No matter how fit you are physical, it only counts for about 20 percent. The rest 80 percent is your mind, your grit, and determination. It’s a humbling but a fulfilling and satisfying experience to be a finisher of arguably the toughest one-day endurance race”
What makes Dr. Swaroop’s achievement more remarkable is, he never underwent any professional coaching. Of course, it wasn’t easy considering there was so much multitasking – from managing work, training and working out. “Sport is an integral part of my life. But I am lucky too. I have a very supportive family (Mr. Vishwas Puranik, Father; Mrs. Swati Puranik, Mother; Mrs. Akshata Puranik, Wife) and very supportive workplace,” says Dr. Swaroop, adding, “Facilities At DY Patil stadium are world class and I would like to say that it is because of these facilities that I could become IRONMAN. Also, having a supportive boss (Dr. Vijay Patil, President, DY Patil University, Navi Mumbai) who is also a sportsperson and avid sports lover, helps. So it clearly worked in my favor and I can’t be thankful enough for that” he adds.
Endurance is not new to Dr. Swaroop. He has been an avid athlete and sportsperson all his life. Since he was into sports since childhood, especially swimming, preparing for the race wasn’t a surprise. His list of achievements in sports is beyond commendable. He has secured medals in swimming at the District and State level in under 17 and 19 categories and at university meets. He has been a District and Zonal level table tennis player. He has also been a District, State, and National level badminton player and a District level Kabbadi player. He has been a National Class B Chess player and a tennis player as well.
Dr. Swaroop has been participating in Marathons since the last 20 years. He has finished in the top 50 in full and half marathons across the country and has run more than 50 international marathons till date.
He has also participated in numerous aquathlons (swimming and running) and biathlons (cycling and running). He has completed 100 km, 200 km, 300 km, 400 km, and 600 km brevets which have given him the honor of being a Super Randonneur. Brevets are cycling events of 200, 300, 400, 600, 1000 and 1200 km held by Audax India Randonneur, recognized by Audax Club Parisien for conducting and overseeing all Brevets de Randonneurs Mondiaux and Audax events in India. Any member who completes four brevets in one calendar year is known as Super Randonneur.
About Dr. Swaroop Puranik
Dr. Swaroop holds a post graduate from IIM Calcutta. He has completed his BDS degree from the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences followed by an MDS in Periodontics and Oral Implantology. He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Research, Clinical/Medical Laboratory and a Post Graduate Diploma in Medico Legal Systems. He is also a six sigma black belt and also holds certification in HIPAA.
For someone who dons so many different hats, life is all about undertaking new challenges every time. The next on Dr. Swaroop’s bucket list is the Iron Man Championships that very few attempts. But he knows the battle is as physical as it is mental and he is surely aiming to triumph!