..if everyone is moving forward together, then success really does take care of itself.
“Coming together, sharing together, working together, succeeding together”
This scenario holds true for our experience in the “Corporate Triathlon Competition 2009”.
When we were given the heads up by the higher management to participate in this triathlon competition, I’m sure none of us had ever imagined that such a triumph was in store for us.
The competition was being held on May 16, 09 which was a Saturday and our team had been formed only on Wednesday at a very short notice, which gave us just two days of practice time.
Nevertheless we were positive as we had very enthusiastic and confident team members – Bidha Rimal in swimming, Bhuwan Gautam and Nikesh Shrestha in running, Suresh Gautam and Nipun Tamrakar in cycling and our strategy was to give 110 percent and make every second count.
The race was a medley of 6 laps of swimming, 2 km uphill cycling, 1 km uphill running, 1 km downhill running, 2 km downhill cycling and the participants had to tag each other to ensure that all the team members had completed their part of the race.
There were 19 corporate houses participating such as, Kantipur Publication, Bank of Kathmandu, NIBL, Siddhartha Bank, CAS Trading, Syakar Group of Industries, DHL, BOSS etc
There were 19 corporate houses participating such as, Kantipur Publication, Bank of Kathmandu, NIBL, Siddhartha Bank, CAS Trading, Syakar Group of Industries, DHL, BOSS etc and were racing in batches of four different teams as there were just four lanes in the pool. Each team’s total time was being recorded to evaluate the performance.
On the day of the event Suresh and Nipun went to the venue early in the morning to select a good cycle for the team and the rest of us joined them later at around 9 a.m. Besides the five participants Santosh, Rajendra, Prajwal and I were there to support them. I had brought food, drinks, glucose etc for the participants which they devoured quickly for energy to face the ordeal awaiting them. Everest Uncensored had sponsored the T shirts for the team and team members were looking very fetching in the white T shirts flaunting EU’s logo for advertisement.
The race started at around 10.45 am and as our team number was 16, we were in the fourth group in the lineup. The 1st and the 2nd groups’ swimmers were not that good and were struggling to complete the laps whereas in the 3rd group a swimmer from Vijaya Motors was absolutely professional completing the 6 laps in 1 minute 50 seconds but our own Bidha Rimal was not far behind leaving the swimmers in the 4th group almost a lap behind. She was the only lady swimmer in the competition and was commended for her wonderful performance by the organizers as well.
Suresh and Bhuwan did a very good job in spite of the fact that the track was really steep and many of the participants were having a hard time covering ground. We were given a tough completion uphill by the cyclist and runner of Morang Auto Works who were in the 1st group.
Nikesh and Nipun gave in their best as well while coming downhill and showed immense control and speed to reach the finishing line in a total of 25 minutes and 21 seconds!!!!
We knew we had done well but we kept our fingers crossed so as not to jinx our fate. The atmosphere which initially had been full of apprehension was now full of exuberance and relief at a job well done. We eagerly awaited the results which were to be after lunch and during it, we could talk of nothing else but the competition and how we had fared in it.
The top ten teams were announced during the award ceremony starting from the tenth position and whenever a company name starting from the letter “D” was announced we would all tense up and again sigh in relief when it was not D2.
When our competitors Vijaya Motors and Morang Auto Works secured the 4th and 3rd position respectively, we were delirious with anticipation as we knew we were on our way to the top and when Philips came in the 2nd place we jumped up and down and our joy knew no bounds when our name was finally announced as the Champions of the Corporate Triathlon Competition.
Our team members rushed up to get the gold medals and I, being the team manager was also called by the organizers to receive the Triathlon Cup and as I went up to receive it, I felt so proud of our team. Looking at the smiling, victorious faces of Bidha, Bhuwan, Nikesh, Nipun and Suresh, I realized, if everyone is moving forward together, then success really does take care of itself!!!!
Excerpts shared by the participants-
Our slogan was “Every Second Counts” and we planned accordingly
It was a short notice to prepare for the most exciting event but all the participants were geared up for the event. The event was quite new for us, as we were participating in a triathlon for the first time, although we had some experience in our individual event. We made a balanced team and did not care much about other competitors. Our slogan was “Every Second Counts” and we planned accordingly. All of us were so enthusiastic and ready to give our best.
It was my first ever participation in a triathlon competition as a runner but I already had some exciting experience in 1500m to 10,000m running. Truly speaking, I didn’t get so much time to prepare for the event but I was confident that I could do it.
All the participants were ready for the event. I had to run up-hill 1 km from point 2 to point 3. I didn’t know the route and the condition. I started a bit fast from the very beginning thinking that the distance was only 1 km. The entire route from point 2 to point 3 was very steep. I crossed the distance up to 600m easily but due to steep road and height the condition was tough. I could not continue running in the same speed. I became slower and slower as I approached the point. This was the toughest race ever in my life. As I crossed the line and handed over the tags to Nikesh, I could not stand-up with my feet and I asked some help from volunteers, especially from my friends Rajendra and Prajwal who were with me all the way. They gave me some massage and some air. As I opened my eyes after 10 minutes, the doctor came and gave me some “Jeevan Jal”.
Downhill mountain bike race is all about speed, agility and control
The speed, excitement and adrenaline collected in this race would remain fresh in me for long time. Got a chance to participate in a race after long time and fortunately even with a short notice of time, we did pretty well. Two day training sessions were fun as well and training in the same racing route proved to be very helpful especially for me. Downhill mountain bike race is all about speed, agility and control. I could get as much speed as I could handle but still somehow I urged for more, and pedaled as hardly as I could. Shouting for the way, bending in the steep corners not knowing what scene awaited me next, drifting and meandering in the narrow turnings of village roads and overtaking whatever vehicles lay in front of me. These are the best moments for any racer. Finally when I crossed the finish line, I knew we had beaten them all and felt very proud to be a part of this team where everybody deserved the gold medal.
I was like stuck in the middle and was not able to push myself out of the pool
Swimming Competition with guys!!! Huh, I was really tensed and somewhat excited. It was my first experience in competing with guys. At the spot whenever I saw the opponent swimmers I felt like they were pro swimmers and I would not be able to beat them. “If My Team Lose Game Because of Me” this thought was striking my mind every second. But, as soon as the game started, my confidence level boosted. I felt like “Yes I can do it!” To complete 6 laps was fine but the toughest moment for me was to jump out of the pool. I was like stuck in the middle and was not able to push myself out of the pool. Finally, I rolled out and ran towards Suresh to handover my tag.
As soon as Nipun entered the finishing line winning the previous group’s competitor we felt like we were the winners. The moment when we were announced as the winner, was the best part of the competition. The result of this competition is the outcome of Team Work. We all were crossing fingers, hoping for the best. It was one of my best experiences, with the best team indeed.
I still remember talking to Bhuwan Dai and Upasana Di that all the other participants were playing for the second place because we were the ultimate winners. Our optimism sparked there and we didn’t prove our self wrong.
I was the downhill runner and running downhill was not so tiring but it wasn’t easy. I had to have a perfect balance to speed up, with my body leaned backwards, taking long leaps forward. The slippery road made my run a lot tougher, although I reached point 2 faster than I had imagined. I tagged Nipun Dai, the downhill cyclist of our team, and asked him to go with three loud, “GO! GO! GO!” That was it, my job was done, and I was fully satisfied with my performance.
The UNKNOWN made the wait more impatient and interesting
Now, it was all about the timing of other groups. We only knew our timing and that we had won in our group but the rest was unknown. The UNKNOWN made the wait more impatient and interesting. The best part of the event for me was this very wait. “The wait for the announcement of the results.”
I have won many medals in the past but this one was different. All the other wins in the past were with instant results , I would know that I had won, the moment I crossed the finish line but this one was heart pounding , it made me wait with my fingers crossed.
After a long, long, long, extra long lunch break, the time for the result announcement had finally come. When we were called upon to take the medals and the trophy as the undoubtedly ultimate winners, it was all cheers, hallas and excitement. We held our heads high as the winners.
Lastly, thank you everybody: the team, Santosh Dai, Rajendra Dai, Prajwol Dai, Ram Dai and our team manager Upasana Di.
Overtaking the uphill cyclist of earlier group was the most memorable situation for me in the competition.
Please click on the image to see its large version.
Article – Upasana Rai
Photos – Rajendra Subedi and Prajwal Shrestha
Captions – Santosh Koirala, Upasana Rai and Bidha Rimal
Creative Support – Dijup Tuladhar and Dhilung H Kirat