Dubai: From swimming for 14 hours to cycling 200 km a day, these Indian expats pushed the limit to meet fitness goals – News | News Bharat

Members of Kerala Riders credit their families and employers for supporting their efforts during the Dubai Fitness Challenge

Published: Wednesday, November 30, 2022, 06:00

Members of the Dubai-based cycling group Kerala Riders went all out to mark the Dubai Fitness Challenge 2022. While one swam for 14 hours straight to cover 25km on the closing weekend of the challenge, another he traveled 200 km a day, with a total of 6,000 km. during the month

“Our group members always try to go out of their comfort zone for DFC,” said Abdul Sameekh, who achieved a personal best by swimming 25 kilometers in a row. “Every year, we try to do better than the year before, and this year I was able to achieve that.”

Lalu Koshy, who last year walked 666 kilometers continuously for 33 hours, accepted the challenge of walking 6,000 kilometers this year, but admitted that it was not easy. “I had not done any training for almost four months as I had traveled to India,” he said. “I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it, but I pushed myself”

Swimming 14 hours

On Saturday, Abdul Sameekh started his swim at Al Mamzar Beach at 4:30am, taking 1-2 minute breaks every three kilometers to hydrate and rest. He said: “Early in the morning and in the evening, it was fine. But in the afternoon, it was more difficult.”

For the Indian expat, it was a slow build-up to his ultimate goal. “Every day, I swam at least three to five kilometers, and every weekend I swam 10 kilometers,” he said. “To my knowledge, no one in the UAE has attempted a 25km swim. So I approached the lifeguards at Mamzar Beach to ask for permission. Dubai is very supportive of activities like this!”

Abdul, Managing Director of the Alwafaa Group, credits his coach Mohandas Puthukkattu for helping him with his training. “For six months, I trained with him and he helped me understand my body,” she said. “He monitored my heart rate and trained me to swim so that it stayed below a certain level. This helped me swim longer distances without feeling tired.”

Abdul, a triathlete, said his family’s support was the biggest factor keeping him going. “During the DFC, we do 7 to 10 hours on the weekends,” he said. “On other occasions, we are out for at least 5 hours training and preparing. My wife Sherina and my children Nihan and Naira are very understanding and always encouraging me. Without their support, I would never be able to do these things.”

Cycling after a break

Lalu Koshy, who cycled for 8.5 to 10 hours every day to achieve his goal, also said that the role of coach Mohandas was integral. “When I was in India, I couldn’t follow my training,” he said. “So when I came back a month before the fitness challenge, I wasn’t sure if I could do it or not. But my coach Mohandas prepared me well.”


For Lalu, the biggest challenge was his muscle pain after every ride. “From my residence in Qusais, I would go to Mamzar and from there I would go to Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah,” he said. “Some days, I would have to take shortcuts because of the traffic. On those days, I would then go to the Waterfront Market to make sure I hit the 200km I needed. The first week, I felt a lot of muscle pain, but my trainer showing proper stretching and cool-down techniques. That helped me a lot.”

Lalu also credited his employer and his boss for helping him by adjusting his work schedule. “My manager Hussam Arwani from my company’s Towam team encouraged me and helped me,” he said. “He cut back on my work hours so I could achieve this. My sponsor, Triathlon Hub, has also helped me by providing all my hydration and electrolyte requirements for free. My next goal is to run a full triathlon l “next year. Let’s see if I can do it.”

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