Meet the member – Nishant Khimesra
Well Nishu, how’s the form? How’s everything going for you?
Fantastic year this has been – loads of ups and downs but enjoyed it. Celebrated the new year with no taste and smell (got COVID) 😊. Took around 1 month to do my first 5K of 2021 with a pace of 6:30. Finally ended the season with 2 Half and 1 full Ironman – loads of PBs 😊 this year, first race outside Ireland.
Tell us about how you got interested in Triathlon and how you came to join Pulse?
No sports played, never ran 1K, the last I biked was at age of 14 and since I was into IT, so no physical movement apart from the usual travel.
One day, after usual lunch walk, my Manager who is a great runner, he told you have built of runner – you must try running. This was music to my ears, no one in past 32 years ever said I can run – I looked into his eyes, just to confirm if he was talking to me 😊. He said join the park run – 5K every Saturday.
Saturday 10 Jul 2018, I was to my first parkrun – to my surprise I finished in 25-26 min. Cloud 9 for me – I texted him and thanked him for all the motivation.
On a fine Sunday of 18th Aug 2018, we(me and family) went for casual walk to Dun Laoghaire – there was stage set for some event, I heard people saying tough race and it was written “Ironman 70.3 Dun Laoghaire 2018”. I don’t know what it was but I felt soo electric. High with my first 10K race in Aug 2018, I told to my wife “Next year, I will do this”. Honestly I had no idea about what all disciplines it had and to my surprise she said “I know you would do it”. I rang Raj who was partying hard in UK and said “We are gonna do this Ironman thing next year” and he thought either of us is high. We also started some mountain biking to Ticknock.
Google helped me to find closest triathlon club in Tallaght and I joined Pulse. All set on papers for the first Ironman 70.3 next year. Swim was the untouched discipline till now and started from the frog swim 😊 and slowly worked on it to at least complete 2K.
I did my first Half Ironman in 5:46:42(swim was reduced to 1K).
I was preparing for my first full Ironman – just 2 weeks before the race, doctor diagnosed me with bronchitis and he said “you shouldn’t do any physical exercise else there are chances of pneumonia”. COVID in Jan and now bronchitis – as if my lungs are being tested before the big day. I was on anti-biotics for the next 7 days.
3rd Oct 2021 – the high waves didn’t gave the comfort of so called flat course. Honestly I didn’t had any special plan for the race – I didn’t wear my HRM, as I just wanted to listen to my body. Finally after 11 hour and 20 min, entered the red carpet. My eyes looking for my family – aah there they are. My wife cheering as high as she could and then my eyes met my 4 years son– no sign of fatigue(they were cheering for almost 12 hours). I closed my eyes, tears started rolling, I whispered “Son, your Dad is an Ironman”. Be it timing, I heard someone saying it loudly “Nishant from India, you are an Ironman. Welcome to Ironman Barcelona”.
Tell us about your first race
Started my triathlon career in 2019 with a half Ironman distance – The Gauntlet. An amazing venue around the Lough Cutra castle. I told Raj, if we are lucky to finish swim, we will complete this race.
I still remember the shivering, nervousness I had before the swim start. Anyways finished my swim in 49 min and started with my bike. During the bike, I realized as if something is missing – OMG!! it was my timing chip strap. I remember wearing it before the race – must be lost during the swim. I was new to triathlon and didn’t knew what to do next. I finished my bike in 3:37:59 and quickly after T2 started running. After my first 1k, told a volunteer about the missing strap and he just nodded his head(honestly I didn’t understand what that meant 😊). I told to myself, anyways I will be disqualified but still let’s finish the race. It took 6:44:37 to finish my first race and glad it was a half ironman distance.
What’s your favourite race/distance to race?
I love doing Half IronMan(middle) distance.
What’s your favourite Pulse memory so far?
The recent Metalman Half Ironman distance. Fortunate that all the pulsers racked the bike together. After the race we took a pic – that was my first post-race pic with pulsers.
What’s the best thing about being in a Triathlon club?
From every interaction with your club member, I learn something new. It feels like an extended family – everyone is eager to help other members.
When you’re not swimming or pedalling or running, what keeps you busy?
Playing classical Indian Flute, pot painting, reading history books and most important, time with my family.
Outside of Triathlon, what’s your favourite sporting memory or achievement? (Doesn’t have to be your own!)
My First Marathon(DCM) in 2019 – must say what an event it is, absolutely electric.
I felt strong throughout the race and in last 500 meters Mike Gonda gave us a surprise – he came from nowhere and said “last 500m finish strong if you can”. Finished my first Marathon in 3:32.
Obviously Kona is the dream for a lot of members, but are there any other bucket list, once-in-a-lifetime type races you’d love to experience?
I love running – would like to do UTMB World Series.
What’s the next Triathlon goal you’d like to tick off?
Next is Ironman Cork 2022 – the bike has some elevations. My focus for next year would be to work on hilly courses and improve the overall timings.
What’s your favourite book/movie/tv show? What do you like about them?
I love reading history, special interest in ancient civilization. I have shelf full of History books 😊 – I love the way how Peter Frankopan has written “The Silk Roads: A New History of the World”.
What are the go-to tunes/podcasts for a training session?
Generally the Indian Bollywood songs.
Who inspires you, be it in sports or in regular life?
I think every athlete has a story and is always inspirational. When I look into my journey so far, the most inspiring thing is body – it adopts soo fast.
What one nugget of advice would you give to a new member starting out on their Triathlon journey?
Your body is your best friend – listen to it and love it. Give yourself a goal every year and train for it.
Finally, can you tell us an interesting fact or story we don’t know about you?
I was one of the few species of Homo Sapiens who jumped from Mountain Bike to Cervelo P2 TT bike. I went to base2race to get my new machine and asked Paul, why the pedals look so different then my mountain bike? – he said you would wear the cleats below the shoes and it will get locked to the pedals. This was surprise to me, never thought the feet getting locked – I remember falling from bike every signal or stop 😊