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Having participated in many marathons, endurance games, and the Deccan Cliffhanger (643km/400 mile Ultra Cycling Race) in the year 2017, Dr. Singal was getting fitter and stronger. In 2018, with many milestones achieved, his fitness goal shifted a level higher, leading him to finally choose the Ironman Triathlon, one of the most gruelling one-day sporting events.
At the age of 51 years, Dr. Singal became India’s First Police Officer (in the 50+ years category) to win the title of Ironman in Vichy, France on 26th August 2018. Ironman is a 226 kms non- stop event consisting of 3.8 km open water swimming, 180.2 km cycling, and 42.2 km running, which he completed in 15 hours 13 mins.
He squeezed in rigorous practice sessions into his extremely demanding schedule. Cycling and running came easily to him, but what stood as a hurdle were his poor swimming skills. But it was too small an obstacle to overcome for the man who had been taking on challenges all his life.
His daughter, Ravija, who registered for the same event, joined him in his practice sessions, the duo advising each other on their weak points. His daughter won the Ironman title in 2019 in her second attempt and became the First Youngest Asian Woman to win the title of Ironman.
The world witnessed his grit, determination, and tenacity on 26th August 2018, as he crossed the finishing line of the Ironman Triathlon, with the Indian flag in his hands, in France (Vichy) in 15 hrs and 13 mins after 3.8 km of swimming, 180.2 km cycling, and 42.2 km running.
Dr. Singal’s quest for fitness and endurance races pushes him to raise the bar for himself. Having completed the Mumbai Marathon 2020, in 4 hrs 42 mins against the required time of 4 hrs 50 mins, he qualified for the Comrade Ultra Race Marathon in South Africa. On 14th June 2020, at the age of 52 years in the background of COVID 19, with just 20 days of practice, he finished the Comrades Legends Ultra Race (90 km) in 13 hrs 51 secs. Despite his busy schedule, he continues to inspire and push others.
Dr. Singal says, “Every game starts with a mental attitude. Your mind should accept what you want to do. Once it does, nothing is impossible. The body is very subjective and loves to be lethargic. However, the mind directs and guides you to take the right steps. Determination comes from the mind. So you need to train your mind. Once the mind decides, the body follows”.
“When I was participating in the Ironman, at one point, my leg muscles started to ache. I could not move forward. I simply paused and mentally told my muscles, ‘You have brought me this far, now we just need to go a little further. All my other body parts are cooperating. Why you are not?’ The pain vanished in a while, and I cycled further. One has to be mentally very alert, stable, and learn to train the mind. Finally, I would say be determined and don’t give up”. – Dr Ravinder Singal.