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City’s ironman ready for ultimate endurance event

gurgaon Updated: Apr 22, 2016 22:27 IST
Leena Dhankhar
Leena Dhankhar
Hindustan Times

Every year, Mishra participates in different events that can test his capabilities. (Abhinav Saha/HT Photo)

Gurgaon’s 30-year-old Abhishek Mishra, two-time winner of Ironman triathlon, is among the elite who have been invited to participate in the world’s toughest endurance sport -- the three-day Ultraman triathlon. He is among the two Indians invited to the event.

Mishra recently won the Ironman triathlon for the second time, seven months after winning his first title. His journey has been awe-inspiring -- from a corporate employee to one of the best in endurance sports.

The Ironman triathlon consists 3.8km of swimming, followed by 180 km of cycling and 42.2km of running. Title winners are expected to complete the tasks within 17 hours and also clear individual cut-offs of each event.

The Ironman championship is one of the toughest one-day endurance events held across the world. Mishra turned many heads by not only winning the competition, but doing so for a second time that too within 7 months. He said the victories were possible only through his sheer grit and determination.

Mishra has become a role model for many and has inspired people to believe that achieving one’s dreams is possible through complete discipline.

Mishra said the endurance events have taught him a lot in his day-to-day life and also encouraged him to test his limits in the Ultraman triathlon. So far, only two Indians have represented the nation in Ultraman as it is not an open event and those wishing to participate have to apply for an invitation.

“I have been fortunate to receive an invitation and in February 2017, I will be testing my limits by swimming 10km, cycling 420km and running 84km and also representing my country,” Mishra said.

“I believe triathlon is a sport that makes you realise the importance of consistency in life, be it personal or professional life. Consistency and focus are important as this helps define one’s priorities in life,” he said.

Mishra was a sports star in school and was always interested in sports. However, after doing a bachelors course in engineering and masters in Marketing & International Business, he started his career with a Gurgaon-based company.

An opportunity presented itself during his time with US giant General Electric in 2011, when he was invited to a long distance running event. After completing his first half marathon, there was no looking back for Mishra.

He realised his passion for endurance sports and has been running consistently since. Mishra has run more than 10 full marathons (42.195km) and over 20 half marathons (21.097km) till 2015.

“My journey of the second Ironman taught me the difference between healthy confidence and unhealthy pride. After finishing it for the first time on September 26, 2015, I felt that I could do it easily again and did not train properly. Though I finished the event second time, I could have done much better if I had focused more on my training regime,” Mishra said.

Every year, Mishra chalks out his calendar to participate in different events so that he can test his capabilities and also push his mental and physical limits.

“People should have faith in themselves like they have in their god. Once a person starts trusting themselves, nothing is unachievable. Start believing and the rest will follow,” Mishra said.