Nervous excitement surrounds the Goa-based triathletes taking part in their first IRONMAN 70.3 race, scheduled to be held in Panaji on Sunday, November 13.
This endurance race will see triathletes complete a 113 km course comprising a 1.9 km sea swim, followed by a 90 km cycle ride and a 21 km half marathon within the stipulated eight and a half hours.
There are as many as 70 Goa-based triathletes taking part in the race this year, a threefold increase from the first edition in 2019.
Dr Liza George (47), a Majorda-based dentist said, “Six months ago, it seemed impossible. But now, I am raring to go.”
Similarly, Althea Fernandes (39), a Colva-based businesswoman said, “It is a good kind of nervousness with a lot of excitement. We have put in the hard work in training.”
While Daegal Godinho (46), an art gallery owner from Majorda and seasoned cyclist, said, “I guess I have enjoyed the transformation in all my colleagues who have been training with me.”
Allan Abreo (64), a retired college principal and experienced cyclist from Margao has a different viewpoint. He said, “With all my experience in sports, I am not nervous about participating in the IM 70.3 for the first time.”
The first-time triathletes are happy that the IRONMAN 70.3 race has come to stay in Goa. Says Althea, “It is a proud moment for the smallest state in India to host an international sporting event of this scale.”
While Dr Liza said, “Vyayama and Krida have been considered an essential part of daily life in Indian culture. Events like the IRONMAN 70.3 will surely inspire this philosophy.”
Quite naturally, the triathletes emphasise the need for fitness in our daily lives. Says Allan, “A healthy body must be a priority for everyone. It builds the immune system and helps protect one from disease.”
While Dr Liza says, “Our body is a machine. If we do not use it, it will rust.
The true goal should be to connect with our bodies and the natural world around us.”