Monday, October 25, 2021

Lean, keen power machine

Reading Time: 3 minutesFor Melbourne’s Anoop Mahendra Singh, Ironman 2016 ticks one off the bucket list
As an Ironman 2016 finisher, Melbourne’s Anoop Mahendra Singh has proved that anything is possible: if you put your mind to it, the body will follow.
With equal parts participation and determination, Anoop recently finished the gruelling triathlon event of 3.9km swim, 180km bike ride and 42.2 km run in 14 hours and 12 minutes – without a break.
Anoop Mahendra Singh.Indian Link
An average person would be exhausted just thinking about the Ks, but Anoop Singh is not your average person. On weekends, when others prepare to crawl into bed in the wee hours after a late night of partying, he’s already swiped off 50ks on his bike, sailing down Brighton’s Beach Road.
An Ironman Triathlon is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organised by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), considered to be one of the most difficult multi-sport, single day events in the world. People completing this event within the strict event time cut-offs are recognised as “Ironmen”.
Anoop’s pin up for quite some time was a two-page centerspread from The Herald Sun on the Ironman series, and for nearly two years, his life was dominated with intense and disciplined endurance training.
Absolutely nothing could derail his dream of finishing his first Ironman contest.
Anoop Mahendra Singh.Indian Link
“I gave up many things and focused single mindedly on building up my stamina, particularly in the legs,” Anoop told Indian Link.
He gave up socialising, alcohol, sweet treats and even put aside his beloved harmonium to focus on his training. Anoop is an accomplished musician and singer and has participated in many musical events in Melbourne.
“There is a science behind it all, really: from proper nutrition to sleep patterns to recovery, everything is strategic in order to drive results,” claimed Anoop, when asked to describe his endurance routine.
Anoop Mahendra Singh.Indian Link
Then there is the expense of hiring professionals to assist with nutrition, chiropractics, Pilates, massages, bike and swim coaching.
“It is clear that Ironman athletes share same sort of ‘crazy’,” laughed his wife Priya Singh who was with him through the entire journey.
“But seriously, the unbreakable drive, laser focus on goals, tenacity, maxed out self-discipline, persistence, determination with a dash of stubbornness, competitiveness and the ability to balance a jam packed schedule – Anoop is all this and more,” she said.
The Ironman 2016 event that was to be held in Frankston, Melbourne, was cancelled due to conflicting dates with the Grand Prix, so Anoop decided to participate in the Ironman New Zealand event, held at Lake Taupo. He chose to go there as the conditions and weather were similar to Melbourne and would work to his benefit. He often travels to New Zealand as part of his work as Chief Operating Officer International for Healthscope and is familiar with its climate and environment.
Anoop Mahendra Singh.Indian Link
Reliving the most challenging event of his life, Anoop told of how he accomplished the swim in 1 hour 22 minutes, bike ride in 7 hours and five minutes, and run in 5 hours 22 minutes.
“The crowd at Lake Taupo was huge and amazingly encouraging. I was further galvanised into completing the event by total strangers who egged me on through the race,” Anoop said. “My family was around as my biggest supporters.” ‘Team Anoop’ comprised of wife Priya, daughter Ayesha and son Sahil.
“Nearly 1350 athletes took part in this event out of which around 371 were first timers and I was one of them. The event was very well organised and the crowd support was tremendous. When I reached the finish, the roar of the crowd, the sheer elation of finishing, the excitement and adrenalin combined to make it an amazing experience,” Anoop recalled.
Not one to stop, Anoop is already training in preparation for his next Ironman challenge, but as he celebrates his milestone birthday this month, he can happily tick off this ‘significant, life changing achievement’ from his bucket list.

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Preeti Jabbal
Preeti is the Melbourne Coordinator of Indian Link.

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