While you may still be in bed, struggling to find the energy to part from your pillows and sit up, there is a septuagenarian who is gearing up for the IRONMAN 70.3 to be organised by Yoska, a Bengaluru-based fit-tech company, in Goa on October 20.
A retired electrical engineer, the 72-year-old Ramasamy Jeyaram, sets a goal for all those aspiring to participate in events of such nature where fitness is the minimum prerequisite. The marathon lover says how he would make it a point to devote one hour to walking 5 kms and jogging 1 km even when he was working in an office.
The enthusiasm to participate in marathons in post-retirement years did not come on its own. Ramasamy thanks his two daughters for the motivation. “It was my elder daughter Chithra Jeyaram who put me onto running, and triathlon and long distance cycling happened because of my younger daughter Dr.Subathra Jeyaram. “
Ramasamy goes back to his initial days that followed his daughter’s motivation to him joining the Chennai runners. “We would assemble for the practice in Alwarpet. Session started at 5:15 am. with an initial warm-up followed by running.”
Ramasamy has a lot of feathers to his cap. The elderly marathoner started his journey in October 2012 by running 21.1k in the Buckingham Canal half-marathon organised by Chennai Trekking Club. He finished it in 2 hours 42 mins.
The avid marathoner has defied age stereotypes and taken part in 11 half-marathons, 7 full marathons, 3 50 km ultra-marathons, 2 Olympic triathlons ( swimming, cycling and running), 2 half iron man triathlons, 1 full iron man triathlon , five 200 kms, four 300 kms, three 400 kms, two 600 kms, one 1,000 km Long Distance Cycling BRM (Brevet Des Randonneurs Mondiaux) and one 5 km swim in a swimathon so far since 2012 organised by various organisations like Chennai Trekking Club, the Wipro Chennai Marthon, Dream Runners Half Marathon and Skechers Performance Chennai Marathon etc .
The senior marathoner has not restricted himself to just in his country. He has hit the ground running in the US also when he took part in Baltimore USA and Marine Corps Washington DC in 2013.
Ramasamy recollects his best record so far. It was in 2014 when he created a record by completing a full marathon in 5 hours 1 minute in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon and his best half-marathon is 2 hours 12 minutes at TWCM in 2012.
When asked about his most thrilling experience so far, Ramasamy recalls, “ It was my first 200 km cycling event and I met with an accident at 180 km . But still I continued after first-aid.”
Ramasamy has one regret too. “It was a 1,200 km cycling event from Chennai and the cut-off time was 90 hours and we had to reach Coimbatore by 35 hours, but 20 of us could not make it.”
The man who grew up in Chatrapatti village in Tamil Nadu got his first swimming lessons in a village lake and later embraced the swimming pool in the city for practice. The upcoming event will require him to swim in the sea. Ramasamy is practising at Bay of Life in Kovalam. Talking about the new experience, he says, “Now the fear of the sea is gone and I have been learning to face the waves. Entering the sea and then coming back is the most challenging and crucial.”
Ramasamy, who draws inspiration from people older than him who are probably in their 80s, asks the younger generation to look upto them for motivation. He is now aiming to bring down his timings a lot further as this is going to be his 2nd triathlon after 2016 and he wants to challenge the three-year gap....