The Ironman race is one of the world’s most gruelling one-day events, and Shankar Uthale, a head constable in the Mumbai police force has become India’s first constable to finish it successfully!
Over a year ago, Uthale, who weighed approximately 92 kg, was counted among the force’s most unfit personnel, and could not have even passed the fitness test with ease. However, determined to shed the extra kilos, Uthale took up a rigorous exercise regimen.
“I knew I had to run; else I would soon become a burden on myself and my work,” he told the Times of India. He started waking up at 5:00 a.m. for an early-morning run. And once he started, there was no looking back. Soon he became confident enough to participate in marathons and took up the challenge across Maharashtra.
This routine snowballed into Uthale taking up other exercise routines. In the following video, for instance, he is seen taking his daughters along for a tire flip and squats.
As he started participating in marathons and getting acquainted with other fitness enthusiasts, he was introduced to competitive races like the Ironman.
“During my marathons, I heard about Ironman,” he told TOI, adding that “I took up cycling in the rain. I would cycle from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and still be fresh at work 30 minutes later. While I had learnt swimming, it was time to get the technique right.”
On 17 November 2018, Uthale participated in the Ironman race in Langkawi, Malaysia.
For this race, participants have to swim for 3.8 km, cycle for 180.2 km and run for 42.2 km all within 17 hours and without a break. Uthale did it in 16 hours and 15 minutes, and thus became India’s first constable to become an “Ironman.”
Earlier this year, Major General Vikram Dogra became the first Indian Army officer to complete this triathlon. Former Marine Commando and a 26/11 survivor, Praveen Teotia became the country’s first disabled Ironman back in April 2018. Krishna Prakash, an IPS officer, ran the Ultraman race in May this year and became the first Indian Civil Servant to finish the race.
These “Ironmen” are certainly paving the path for a healthier, fitter India.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)