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Tahsin country's first Ironman
On July 22 Tahsin Alam crossed the finish line of the 2012 Ironman Lake Placid Triathlon Championships in an official time of 16 hours and 27 minutes, making him the first Bangladeshi to conquer the world's most difficult one-day endurance sport. As previously reported, this is the culmination of Tahsin's 2-year preparation to cover a 3.8km swim, 180.2 km bike and a full 42.1 km marathon in a non-stop continuous race against the clock.
In a field of over 3100 athletes, Tahsin finished in 2193rd place with a strong finish in both the swim and bike sections. Each section of the Ironman has time cut-offs; athletes unable to finish within the allotted time are not allowed to proceed with the race. Tahsin comfortably finished the 3.8 km swim in 1 hour 35 minutes, well under the 2 hour 20 minute limit. “It was the best swim of my life, particularly with that many athletes in the water at the same time,” Tahsin commented. All 3100 athletes begin in the water at the same time, making it a very dangerous affair. “I was kicked in the face several times, but was lucky enough not to lose my swim goggles.”
Tahsin had an equally successful bike ride. Tahsin completed the course -- two 90.1 km loops including two 24 km continuous hill climbs -- in 8 hours and 2 minutes, well within the time limit of 10 hours. “I drank about 9 litres of water and salts, while also eating 300 calories of food per hour.”
He was most worried about stomach failure and heat exhaustion, both common occurrences during the Ironman.
The first half of his marathon was completed successfully, where he maintained a steady speed up to the half way mark. “Unfortunately, my body started to slow down shortly into the second half of the marathon. I never stopped moving. I ran when I could, I walked when I could not run. It is very tempting to stop, but if you stop, your race is over.” Tahsin pushed through into the night with a headlamp to guide his way. Shortly past 11pm, Tahsin entered the Lake Placid Olympic Stadium, home of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics and the site of the Ironman finish line. Assisted by his coach, Tahsin unfurled the Bangladesh flag above his head as he crossed the finish line. His brother and mother, Dr. Amena Begum of Dhaka University, were there to greet him.
After a required rest of three weeks, Tahsin will compete in two other shorter distance triathlons, a half marathon and the prestigious Philadelphia Full Marathon in November.
[ Sports ] 2012-08-10