In Gurgaon’s overflowing cupboard of Ironmen and ultra-marathoners, Bipin Kaul stands out. Unlike the other professional and semi-professional athletes, this 41-year-old banker juggles work as a senior executive, travel between Bangalore and Gurgaon, and extensive training for triathlons. And despite such a packed schedule, he has found time to finish the toughest endurance triathlon – Ultraman– a gruelling 515km race that has participants complete a 10-km swim, 421-km bike ride, and an 84-km run over three days. Bipin became the third person from Gurgaon to finish the race when he crossed the finishing line at Ultraman Australia earlier this week. Speaking to us over phone from Gold Coast, Bipin said, “It’s a great feeling. I had been preparing for this race for months and was looking forward to this day ever since, so it does feel like a validation. But I don’t see it as an end to my journey. I will now relax, but only for a short while, before moving on to the next challenge.”
Crossing the finish line was extra special for the Gurgaon resident as he had his entire family with him there, with his daughter Kaira comfortable sitting on his shoulder as he passed the finish line. Bipin recalls, “I wanted my family to be there because they have been part of this journey all through. Then, the event was happening close to Mothers’ Day and I wanted to dedicate it to my mother, so she was there too. I had my daughter on my shoulder because ever since she has been a kid, she would climb on my shoulder and call it her ‘sofa’. I thought what better way to finish the race than with her on my shoulder.”
The preparation for the race wasn’t easy for Bipin as his job demanded travelling to different cities, but that didn’t deter his enthusiasm as he found triathletes and running groups in all the cities he used to travel to
Bipin started preparing for Ultraman about six months ago, and finished two Ironman Triathlons in the meantime. The preparation for the race wasn’t easy for him, as he was recently promoted to the post of Zonal Head – South Retail Banking in his company IDFC Bank. “The promotion meant I was transferred to Bangalore while my family stayed back in Gurgaon, and I was not just coming back home every weekend but also travelling to various cities in south for work almost every second day. I had to fit my training for Ultraman around my hectic travel and work schedule,” Bipin tells us.
The 41-year-old did so by finding triathletes and running groups in all cities he used to travel to. He elaborates, “If I went to a coastal city, I planned my swims there. If I was in a city with good roads and cycling culture, I planned my rides there. I also made friends in every city who would train with me and show me the best running and cycling spots. It wasn’t easy fitting all this in my schedule but it had to be done.” The banker also set up two complete workout stations in both the cities he lived in. “I had one cycle in Bangalore and one in Gurgaon, and in fact, I had two sets of all my equipment and training gear – one for each city. My family was really supportive. To be honest, I cannot claim this achievement as just mine. If my family, my running buddies, and even my company hadn’t supported me, it would have been impossible.”