This Gritty 30-Year-Old Is One of the Few Indian Women to Complete the Ironman Triathlon

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Imagine competing in an Ironman race, which is considered to be one of the most difficult one-day sports events in the world. You will have to swim for 3.8 km, cycle for 180 km and then run a regulation length marathon of 44 km — all without a break. But when was the last time you went for a run? Oh that’s right, it was too cold in the morning and the cosy warmth of the blanket was too comfortable to let go; “next time,” you said.

Salonie Pathania, a 30-year-old resident of Pune, has recently returned to the city after having completed the Ironman Kalmar in Sweden last month. Kalmar — not Swedish for “dreaded race”– is simply the name of the picturesque coastal city the race was held in.


Image for representation only: By Johann Schwarz from Gumpoldskirchen (A_Ironman_Swim (17)) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A lot like many other people, Salonie hadn’t been exercising regularly for a while and was growing unfit. But she actually took the effort to get out of her situation.

“Being fairly active in sports through school, a vehicular accident during graduation followed by a knee surgery made physical activity difficult. By mid-2013, I realised I was out of shape and started accompanying my father, a fitness enthusiast, on his early morning walks. Soon, I started running and did my first non-stop 10 km run in October 2013,” she told The Indian Express.

In an inspiring display of dedication towards her fitness, she kept at it and started training for one event after the other. Soon after the first 10K, she participated in Enduro3, a team adventure race where participants take part in several competitions including trekking, mountain biking, Kayaking, river crossing and rifle shooting. She is now the first woman from Pune to have completed the full Ironman race.

It might be instructive to note that Saloni is also a full time working professional, employed at Bridge2Tech, a knowledge consultancy firm, based out of Pune. While on the weekdays she trains for three hours before work, on the weekends she trains for up to five hours.

Know more about Ironman Triathlon here.

She and the likes of her leave very little room for excuses from the rest of us. Makes you ask yourself, how cosy is that blanket?

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