Triathletes from 30 countries, including Argentina, Australia and the US, will join their Indian counterparts in the country's biggest and truly international endurance race, the IRONMAN 70.3 India, being held in Goa on October 8, in partnership with Goa government’s Tourism Department.
IRONMAN 70.3 India will pay homage to Goan icon and Padma Vibhushan awardee, the late Mario Miranda, with the latter’s trademark artwork featuring on the winners’ medals, which were unveiled on Thursday at the hands of Jeff Edwards, CEO and MD of IRONMAN Asia, Deepak Raj, race director and franchise owner of the IRONMAN brand in India and Chief Executive Officer of Yoska and V S Ganeshan, Director Marketing, Herbalife.
The official jersey for the race has been styled using the ancient Kaavi art motifs, an indigenous art from the Konkan region, that draws inspiration from nature.
Panjim will host the endurance race for the third time. It will be flagged off at Miramar beach and the race’s 30 top finishers will qualify to compete in the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, slated to take place in New Zealand.
The gruelling race kicks off with a 1.9 km swim off Miramar beach, followed by a demanding 90-km bicycle ride and culminating with a half-marathon run covering 21.1 km. Each leg has individual cut-off timings and athletes must surpass these thresholds in all three sections to earn the IRONMAN 70.3 India ‘finisher’ title and medal.
The route takes participants through Panjim, including the Ribandar causeway, Mandovi river and Miramar beach.
In addition to an impressive Indian contingent, athletes from six continents – North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Australia and Asia – have registered to participate. Nearly 15 percent of the participants are women.
Race director Deepak Raj said the high scale of participation was an encouraging sign for endurance and adventure sports in the country. “Participating in an IRONMAN is not just about winning the race, it also helps build a sense of personality, fosters a spirit of camaraderie and helps the country by generating an interest and passion about staying fit,” said Raj.
He added that apart from Goa Tourism, IRONMAN 70.3 India is also supported by PolicyBazaar, Delhivery, T10 Sports, Redbull, Herbalife and Hyperice.
Jeff Edwards who is spearheading the IRONMAN brand's initiatives in Asia said, “It's encouraging to see India embrace the culture of triathlons.”
An IRONKIDS race is planned on 7 October as a curtain-raiser at which six to eight-year-old children can participate in a one km run, nine to 12-year-olds can participate in a two km run, while 13 to 16-year-olds can participate in a three km run. All the participants would be awarded medals for taking part in the IRONKIDS Goa challenge.