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Six inspiring doctors who have excelled at extreme athletic feats

M3 India Newsdesk Jun 15, 2018

With FIFA World Cup fever in the air, here are the stories of 6 Indian doctors who have excelled in some extremely tough sporting activities. Winning Ironman titles, to scaling Mount Everest, to racing professional cyclists in a 4800 km bike run- it's all in a day's work for these tough doctors! 

Despite tough schedules and huge patient loads, some doctors find time and energy to stretch their physical boundaries and perform feats which are attempted only by the tough of heart.

Dr. Hitendra and Mahendra Mahajan

The doctor brothers from Nashik were one of the earliest entrants in the Race Across America, a race considered tougher than the famed Tour de France due to it being a continuous race, unlike the Tour which is a stage race.

The duo completed the race of 4800 km in a total time period of 8 days, 14 hours and 55 minutes.

Their feat was recognized by none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who mentioned it in one of his editions of Mann ki Baat and personally invited them to congratulate them on their feat.

The doctor duo entered the race as a relay team, training hard for it for many years and helped by a dedicated support team of doctors. The race stretches across the length of the United States, beginning in Oceanside, California, it passes through tough terrain such as the scorching Mojave Desert, the desert plains of Arizona, mountain passes in Colorado and the Appalachian Mountains, before ending on the East Coast of the United States of America at Annapolis, Maryland.

They donated their earnings to tribal health programs of the Kalpataru Foundation. Their next target is the 268 km one day Tour of the Dragon in Bhutan. For now, they are passing on their knowledge to other doctors, having helped Dr. Amit Samarth and Srinivas Gokulnath to finish the solo edition of the race in a remarkable timing of eleven days.

Dr. Kaustubh Radkar and Dr. Anand Gangwal

While Pune-based sports medicine consultant Dr Anand Gangwal won his first Ironman title in 2016, Doctor of health administration and rehabilitation sciences, Dr Kaustubh Radkar won his 14th one in 2016!

Dr. Kaustubh Radkar has been at it for much longer, having completed 13 such races before, and even having finished the Ultraman, a three-day race, comprising of a 10 km swim and 148 km bike ride on Day 1, 276 km bike ride on Day 2, and a 84 km run on Day 3.

An Ironman triathlon is one of a series of long distance races organised by the World Triathlon Corporation consisting of a 3.86 km swim, 180.25 km bicycle ride and a 42.2 km marathon, all without a break. It is one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world and most events have a strict time limit of 17 hours. To those celebrating Milind Soman's feat, Soman completed it in 34 hours and 46 minutes, Dr. Radkar completed it in 31 hours and 29 minutes!

Dr. Raghunath Godbole

Dr Godbole is a renowned Gastrointestinal Surgeon from Pune has trekked the Everest region four times since 1995 and regularly participates in them as a medical officer despite being in his 60s.

Dr. Godbole is the founder member of B.J. Medical College Mountaineering club started in 1976. He is actively involved with the Indian Medical Association Trekking Club in Pune and serves as a medical advisor to Saad mountaineers (Mumbai) , South Calcutta Mountain Lovers Association (Kolkata), and Giripremi (Pune).

He has organised 15 high-altitude trekking expeditions in various parts of the Himalayas and over 100 treks in the Sahyadri mountains and was a medical officer in 2 mountaineering expeditions (Satopanth 2003 and Mukut Parvat East 2007). Dr. Godbole is passionate and knowledgeable about mountaineering, having created training sessions and materials for mountaineers to prevent and treat altitude sickness. He is a phenomenal photographer, and those visiting his clinic see spectacular photos of the Himalayas adorning his clinic walls.

A little known fact, he is a doctor with a golden heart, demanding no remuneration. Patients are encouraged to leave any amount they desire and can afford at his reception, or nothing at all if they cannot afford it.

Dr. Murad Lala

An oncosurgeon at Mumbai's Hinduja Hospital, Dr. Lala became India's first doctor to scale Mount Everest.

In a nearly two-month long effort, Dr. Lala literally capped all his other achievements of winning the Himalayan Car Rally, conducting mountaineering expeditions in tough situations and participating in extreme sports by climbing Everest. He shares his enthusiasm for adventure with his wife, Dr. Mamatha Lala, a paediatrician who served as an expedition doctor for the Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica for six months.



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