My 2 cents.

Just a little disclaimer before I start this: I operate on the principal of non-mutual adulation meaning I don't need to be praised to praise someone.

And so let us begin.

I finally have a good enough internet connection to write this piece down, which I have been meaning to write since Sunday.

I want to begin by congratulating Kaustubh Radkar, Prithiviraj Patil, Manmahd Rebba, Abhishek Mishra and Milind Soman for joining the rare Indian club of Ultraman Finishers.

Now on to the agenda of this post.

Please, for God sake stop trashing Milind Soman for getting more media attention.

Please stop passing judgemental comments on how one athlete is better than the other.

I'll start off with how I, on finishing Ultraman got almost 0 coverage but now the newspapers are drooling at this small bit of history.

I'll be the 1st one to admit, I tried my best to get atleast some media attention. And the reason was to create a small bit of awareness about the existence of this discipline of triathlon.

And I failed, miserably.

I contacted Buzzfeed and Scoopwhoop and what not. And they chose to ignore me.

Even when I was broke and trying to get to the event, brands told me to get a "social media presence".
No one really was interested in sponsoring me.

I got some coverage in the end: Times of India, Deccan Chronicle and The Hindu.

Mr. Soman, on the other hand, is yet again the darling of all the Social Media and Print Media.

And you know what?

It is GOOD. It is good for the popularity of the sport. It is good for future athletes. It is good because now when someone does the event again, people will associate and know more about the sport.

It is good BECAUSE sponsors will now not turn a blind eye to anyone going for an Ultraman and ignore their emails for help.

A lot of people did Ironman before Milind, but it was Milind doing the Ironman which made this lazy country sit up and take note.

And hey, yes he took 11:59:55 to finish his bike leg on Day 2 or spent 20 minutes in transition during Ironman Zurich.

But HE FINISHED.  And till, you have not done what he has done and gone on to do what he has achieved, you have NO RIGHT to comment on his performance during the race.

He did it. And that's the end of it. And because of him, the sport will benefit a LOT. 

And I thank him for it.

Coming to comparisons between athletes now, comparing Milind Soman to Kaustubh is like comparing Saurav Ganguly to Sachin Tendulkar.

Both are special in their own way.

Kaustubh is the prince of triathletes in India, he did the damn 10k swim in 2:48 and I dare anyone else in this country to come even close to his time. He has 16 Ironmans under his belt and is special in his way.

Take Prithiviraj on the other end. Not many of you would know, but he has done 2 Ironmans as well in addition to this Ultraman.

Same with Abhishek, and if not anything Abhishek is a prolific Ultra marathoners and has finished more Ultramarathons than most of you could dream of.

What each of them does with the fame they achieved by finishing the Ultraman is up to them and trust me, they have earned it.

I have gone through the ordeal which they had to and trust me, you come out of a different person at the end of the 3 days.

Just as a closing statement I want to say this:

The media coverage always has bias. Milind Soman is good looking and a BIG celebrity. He deserves the coverage.

Others do too, but they won't. That's how media "works".

And media has been like this forever, so till you can change something, stop whining.

All of them and I mean ALL OF THEM deserve every ounce of respect they are getting because THEY WORKED FOR IT.

And no one, who hasn't even come close to them deserves to pass judgement.

What all of them deserve is your respect.

And that's how it should continue to be.


  1. Agreed Arunaabh. It's all for the betterment of Sport. Media should cover more and more to one and all who are going through these gruel challenges. That's how the state of sports will improve in our country. And cheers to you buddy for your 7 Half Iron distances in 7 Days. That was super effort :)

  2. Well said Arunaabh. Each one of these bravehearts have my complete appreciation and respect, independent of how much media attention they got by virtue of the achievement.

  3. Very well articulated Arunaabh, it is a well known fact, in India no gives a damn to any sport other than Cricket, which doesn't mean one should blame cricket and cricketers for that, its about the achievement that generates interest of the mass population. Once this becomes a practice no one would be able to turn a blind eye to this. For the record, you have been a brilliant athlete, have seen you grow from a weekend cyclist to Marathoner and a Ultra-runner. We are proud of your achievements !

  4. Thanx for penning down my thoughts, you rock Arunabh

  5. Thanx for penning down my thoughts, you rock Arunabh

  6. Well Said Arunabh. Shat Pratishat Sahi.

  7. Nice to hear from you and Well shared, Arunabh. I said this to almost everyone and also to Milind, that he has been the reason for the Ironman to get popular in India. When a Celebrity does it, its visible to his huge fan base. And this helps for many to follow the sport in the future.

  8. Love this article. Finally someone said it! Why the fish should I be shy of attention i jolly well earned?
    As Sherlock Holmes puts it, "Modesty is not a virtue. It's as much a sin as conceit is. Because both are a form of tan untruth. "

  9. Well said Arunaabh, loved it!

  10. Well written Arunaabh and I agree with your comments. Congratulations to all

  11. A well written article Arunaabh!! I feel the way we as a country have developed the attitude is wrong. It was a grueling race and competing+completing it itself needs a lot of applaud!! I want to just ask one question to all these guys drooling on this fact of media covering one not another etc.... Did they at least show their kids, family or friends and inspire someone to get fit and better in life... Just narrating or telling these facts to inspire others is first step they could take!! I feel it is ok for Milind to get all that media attention etc... It is like someone saying I do all hard work and am talented but why do these film heroes get crores when I as a small time actor or another professional am paid so less :-)

  12. Very Well articulated Arunaabh.

  13. Very well explained Arunaabh!

  14. 2 cents is actually million dollar worth - let the media do what they are good at and lets all do what we are good at...

  15. Such a mature write up! All we wanted from you to be a good human being and you fulfilled our wish! Thanks to God for blessing us with such a gifted Child-- Proud Parents!!!!!


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