Winning against odds - Suraj Deepak Kalyankar

Meet Suraj Deepak Kalyankar participating in Olympic Triathlon at Hyderabad Triathlon 2017.


Tell us about yourself in a few lines.

I belong to a middle class family. My native place is a small village Shirad(Wani) located in Hadgaon taluka of Nanded district in Maharashtra.
My father is a farmer and also, was my first trainer. He was the one who used to wake me up at 5’o clock in the morning and send to fetch milk from a farm that was situated 2 km away from my home in the village.
I used to run to the farm and walk while returning. This habit went on till I joined my engineering college.

I started my professional training after getting admission in Javahar Navodaya Vidyalaya of my area. Please keep in mind that to get admission in Navodaya a student needs to crack an entrance exam in fifth standard.
The whole district appears for this examination and only 80 students are selected. Here, we get facilities such as nutrition, platform to showcase our talent and all other facilities which we can’t get outside at a single place.
I was never able to win a single 100m race in Navodaya. One day, out of frustration, I started running with a bit more than average speed and continued to run for more than 30 minutes and I didn’t get tired at all in the course. My friends had also joined me while running but they were hardly capable of going beyond 400-600 meters. On that day I realized that I have a God-gifted talent and that’s stamina.

I started participating in numerous competitive races in my school to test my stamina . I won various 1.5km, 3km races at School. I moved on to participate at cluster level representing my school and secured 3rd position in both 1.5km and 3km race. After completing my senior school, my parents advised me to focus more on studies and work hard to get into a good engineering school. I studied hard for the next 2 years and got admitted to Bombay Sardar Patel College of Engineering.

After getting into college, I again started practicing swimming, running and working out at the gym. I had a budget constraint of Rs.120 to 150 for my diet,  I did not have money to participate in competitions. I was waiting for the day I’ll have money to follow my passion. After my college, I got placed at Infosys. My company gave me that opportunity and money to participate and I again started my training in Mysuru. I knew that this was the best time to level up my game.

I decided to start with participating in 5k running event and with every successful completion of an event I would go for the next level with higher distance and be prepared with better stamina. I completed 5k with the timing of 17:58 min and secured 5th position in Bangalore open category. I practiced then for one month to participate in 10k event. I completed it in 41:30 min with 4th position in Bangalore again. As such events take place on Sunday mornings, I used to leave from Mysuru the night before, reach Bangalore in 4 hours and then sleep at the railway platform.

I had been practicing from 2nd May till 28th May for Phulgaon Duathlon Pune event. Here I competed in cycling for the first time. On 11 June I have completed 14k Run in Pune in 1:05:00 and was first at "Run for the child labour marathon". On 23 July I have completed Half marathon and was 2nd at "Nio Vision Marathon Pune".
I aspire to work consistently and increase my stamina to match the level of competitions like Ironman, Tuffman and Ultraman.

Why do you TRI ? What is your motivation for doing a Triathlon/Duathlon ?

Milind Soman and his achievements at international level is my motivation for Triathlon / Duathlon.

Which event are you participating this year at HT 2017 ? How many times have you participated in HT and in other triathlon events? Which is your favorite kind of race?

This is my first time for Triathlon and I am participating in Olympic Category this year. Full Ironman is my favorite kind of race.

How is your preparation for HT 2017 going? How excited are you for the event ?

I have been practicing regularly since June 2017. I do 2k Swim + 50k cycling + 12k run continuously which is 120-130% of the total distance of the Olympic Triathlon. I hope to perform well at Hyderabad Triathlon.