The Ironman Triathlon - The sport which embodies grit and determination, is not meant for the faint-hearted. The 59 year-old Major General Vikram Dogra has gone on to prove that age is just a number, as he became the first Indian to have completed the tough day-long triathlon in Austria this July.
The Ironman Triathlon, which is considered as one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world, comprises of three consecutive events -3.8 km swim, 180 km cycling and 42.2 km marathon.
The competitors have to complete the sequence oIf events within 17 hours to earn the title of 'Ironman'. However, Major General Vikram Dogra went a step further as he completed the event in the scenic town of Klagenfurt, Austria, in 14 hours and 21 minutes.
Talking about what motivated him to take up this grueling change in the twilight years of his career, the Army General said," I did it as a personal goal. Since I'm retiring at the end of January, and once you are settled, rarely there is not much of a challenge left at work. I firmly believe that, you need to look at something that challenges you in life. So, when i was scanning as to what it could be, I found the Ironman event to be interesting, and therefore, I thought it would the appropriate challenge to take up."
Major General Vikram Dogra also becomes the only serving army officer from the Indian Army to have completed the day-long triathlon. In the process, he also is the only army personnel across the globe to have achieved this feat.
A feat such as this calls for immense discipline and a strict workout regimen. The Indian army officer takes us through the pre-prep phase in the build-up to the Ironman event.
"I'm working, and therefore, the preparation had to be done after office hours. So, I have a normal 9-5:30 job, after which, I'd get back from work and go for a run thrice a week. The other two days, I would swim in the evening, and on the weekends I would go for cycling. Because, that is one event which takes the better part of 6-7 hours," says the man who walked the talk.
Not one to rest on his past laurels, Major Dogra insists to leave no stone unturned as he plans to cycle around the world in 2019. Revealing his plans for the future, he said: "I'm now working on a event, where i intend to cycle across five continents consisting of Europe, North America, South America, Australia and Asia covering approximately 22,000 km somewhere around May, next year."