Byline: Crank India West Bureau. Images by: Goa Triathlon
Goa is known for its beautiful beaches, heritage and stunning European architecture. It is a popular destination for revelry amongst Indian and foreign tourists alike. It is not a less known fact that adventure sports activities are also popular here. With a growth in such activities, it was only time until Goa got its own signature multisport event, The Goa Triathlon in affiliation with the Indian Triathlon Federation.
The Goa Triathlon is organised annually by Enduro Sports Goa, a company comprising of Mr. Elias Patel a well known radio jockey, swimming instructor & lifeguard, Mr. Joseph Rodriguez 5th Dan karate sensei & vice president of Goa Cycling & Dr. Michelle Gouveia, a young radiologist with a passion for sports.
This was the second edition of the event and was held at the Bambolim Beach Resort, 7 kms from Panaji, the capital of Goa. It is one of Goa’s safest & least crowded beaches, making it ideal for sea swimming. The Goa Triathlon is the only Triathlon in India to feature an open water sea swim in complete safety. The cycle and run sections were held at a freshly laid 4 lane divided highway entirely closed off to all vehicular traffic.
The race was divided into 3 categories, Olympic Individual, Olympic Team Relay and a fresh category, Super Sprint. Each of these categories was further divided into men & women with prizes being the same for both genders. The Olympic Individual had 202 participants of which 21 were women, the Super Sprint had 58 participants of which 17 were women, 35 teams of 3 participants each also took part.
The Olympic distances were standard Olympic course distances, 1.5KM Swim, 40KM Cycle & a 10KM Run. The Super Sprint distances were a quarter of the Olympic distances, 400 Meter Swim, 10KM Cycle & a 2.5KM Run. Over 50% of the athletes were serious and seen using road bikes as opposed to recreational bicycles.
In a triathlon situation, safety of the bicycles during the transitions are crucial and therefore, cycle racks were setup a day prior to the race & participants had the option of leaving their bike at the T1 staging area the previous evening, full security was provided for the same. An identical set of cycle racks were provided at Transition 2 participants were able to leave their bikes & continue their run in complete peace of mind. A large & trained volunteer group ensured the smooth functioning of the race. Two dedicated ambulances along with a group of doctors & paramedics from Manipal hospital ensured all participants were safe & looked after at all times and the Indian Army managed the 7 water stations ensuring all participants always had plenty of hydration.
This year saw lots of energy especially in the women’s category with star performer & winner of the women’s Individual Olympic category Nisha Madgavkar stealing the women’s race with a timing of 3:06:55. Another memorable mention is Mr. Gaurav Dutta, a leg amputee who took part & completed the Super Sprint with a timing of 1:23:38. With an increase in the number of participants this year and the addition of a new category for newer athletes goes to show that more such events should spring across the nation and until then, Goa will remain a popular destination for revellers and adventure enthusiasts alike.