The professional dentist and IIM graduate is elated after finishing his second IronMan North American Championship in Texas, US.
Despite a MD in Dentistry and a degree from IIM Kolkata, Swaroop Puranik takes out time to carry on with his passion for sports. The 37-year-old completed his second Iron Man North American Championship at Texas, USA on April 27 this summer.
Prior to this, Swaroop completed Iron Man 70.3 Championship in Dubai on February 1. The Navi Mumbai-based Puranik juggles the responsibilities as a Director at the DY Patil University, professional dentist and a triathlon athlete.
“It is important to divide your time into three phases. Family, work and passion. I make sure that I try to balance each of these facets to the best of my abilities,” he said.
The Iron Man Triathlon tests extreme endurance, comprising 4000 meters of open water swim plus 180 km cycling and 42km Run, raced in that order and without a break. He completed the Iron Man championship with impressive timings of 16:31:12, with Swimming (01:27:36), Cycling (07:09:29) and Running (07:35:43).
“I always had grit and determination. I also believe I have a lot of resilience. I am very aggressive when it comes to doing a task especially when I am convinced that it has to be done. This nature drives me to take on new challenges and excel in it. So once I set my eyes on Ironman race, I went after it,” Swaroop said.
Though his sports background helped him to compete at the highest level, he still had to put in a month and half of intense training to acquire the USA feat.
“I have a background in sports since last 20 years. I have participated in more than 50 Marathons and Half Marathons along with many Aquathalons and Duathlons. I have also been district and state swimming champion, completing 100, 200, 300, 400 and 600 km brevets in cycling. So I had some experience before I started training for full Ironman. But I did about 5-6 weeks of targeted training for Ironman triathlon,” he revealed.
Although he had not done any professional training, he did extensive planning and understanding of historical weather patterns in Texas, condition of roads, positioning of aid stations and on his even position on start line. Eventually he was satisfied with the end result after putting in the hard work.
“Oh! I am elated. Finish time was never my concern. I just wanted to finish it. I consider myself a veteran of endurance sport. I used to run marathons even before it became famous. I just enjoy the experience and soak everything while I am racing.”
“If I was determined, I am certain I would have finished the race 1.5-2 hours earlier. But what’s the point ? I used that time to interact with fellow athletes, volunteers and even spectators who were so supportive. I enjoyed the race, that’s my aim,” he said.
He vowed be keep testing himself with endurance races. “I like Ironman race. I may keep at it for a few races. I want to see how my body holds up to these 15-16 hours of pounding. It is a great opportunity to become fitter,” he signed off.