Meet Mayank Vaid: India's fastest Ultraman
I knew 2 of the names : Anand Patil and Vineet Agarwal. Well established names in the Indian triathlon community
But who was this Mayank Vaid? I'd never heard him before. No social media presence at all!
As it turns out, Mayank Vaid is the man who now holds the record for being the fastest Indian to finish Ultraman! (that too beating the old mark by 5 hours!)
He finished 12th in Ultraman Australia, taking just 26:04:11 to navigate through the 515.4 km course having started triathlons just 18 months back!
The solicitor living in Hong Kong, calls swimming his Achilles heel despite swimming 3:43:52 for the 10k (I guess that's what the power of training is, I am a former National level swimmer, but just 3 practise swims before the event meant I took 4:22:23 to finish the swim).
Read more about him, here:
1. Can you tell us more about yourself?
I am from a small town called Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh. I am an Indian advocate and a Hong Kong solicitor. I live in Hong Kong with my wife and 2 boys who are 6 yrs and 2 yrs old.
2. What started you on the path of Endurance Racing? When did you first get into triathlons?
I started training 18 months ago. My first triathlon was Geelong 70.3 in Feb 2016. My friend, David Gething, who lives close to my place inspired me to get fit. He won the 7 marathon challenge in 7 continents in 7 days in 2016. I weighed more than 87 kilos and had a very unhealthy lifestyle. Due to my job I needed to travel a lot and socialise (excessive alcohol and food). So I decided to change my lifestyle. I used to play tennis and do some easy running but Triathlon was my opportunity to shed weight and bring my BMI into a normal range.
3. Can you tell us some of the memorable moments from your career as an endurance athlete?
Since the career is really short I don't have much to share except that training for UMOZ has been really hard. I have put in about 24-26 hours of training a week (despite my job and family) in the last 4 months.
4. What does a training week typically looks like for you? Which sport would you call your strength and which sport would you call your “Achilles heel”?
Training 7 days a week. With 10-12 hours bike rides on weekends of training for a race like UM. Weekday rides with local bike groups. Swimming in pool and open water 3-4 times a week. Running 4 times a week with an AM and PM run at least 1 day a week. Hong Kong does not have the best conditions to TT so we need to drive to the airport to find the long TT stretches. I live on the other side of HK. To be able to get a 8 hr ride follows by a 1 hour run off the bike I would have to set aside at least a 11 hour block to ride on a Saturday or Sunday. But kids have activities on weekends. So usually I would start at 2 am and end the brick session by 12:30 to be home to bring kids to their afternoon activities. My wife, Theresa Vaid who also crewed for me at UMOZ supports me so much that I can't thank her enough.
Swimming is my Achilles. I took 3:43 to finish the 10k swim! Running is probably my strength.
5. What prompted you to volunteer yourself to epic suffering aka Ultraman? Do you have prior experience in Ultra endurance racing?
No previous experience. I did Ironman Taiwan last October in 12:01 and at the end of it I felt I still had gas left in me. That coupled with my friend David Gething who inspired me to go further. I have a brilliant coach, Nigel Gray who is based in Canada and he trains me like he is preparing me for the worst and the best.
6. What modifications did you make to training schedule to successfully navigate Ultraman?
Eat, train, sleep, repeat! Recovery is very important. Body needs to be respected for what it's doing for us during training days. Through Good food and solid recovery sessions is how we communicate with our body and guide it to do a better job.
7. Can you relive the Top 3 moments from Ultraman?(Shout-out to your crew if you like J )
My crew was brilliant. I had excellent pacers. I had this moment in the swim where the sea was pretty choppy and I still had to swim another 5k. So I put my head down and said to myself "let's get it done"! Same during the Day 2 bike ride which is long and hard. Roads were wet from rain.We witnessed a crash in the first 2 hours where an athlete can off his bike real bad. It was amazing sportsmanship where everyone behind the crashed athlete got off the bike and we waited until a crew car showed up and took over the scene. Day 3 run my feet were hurts starting 50k. Soles were on fire. I remembered the words HOPE from an elite endurance swimmer. Hold on Pain Ends! And I pushed on.
|Source : Ultraman Australia FB Page|
8. Cliché#100: What’s next?
I qualified for Ironman 70.3 Wold Championships in Chattanooga, Tennessee. That's this September and a few races here and there :)
9. Any message for prospective Triathletes and Ultraman Aspirants?
Get a good coach. Set a target. And don't try to race an UM, try to finish it strong. Train so hard that you are thankful that it's finally race day.
|Source: Ultraman Australia FB Page.|
Here's wishing Mayank many more successes in the future!