When the going gets tough, tough gets going. This is the mantra of success for Dr. Amit Samarth.
Nagpur-based Amit Samarth, one of India’s top ultra cyclists, completed a 1131-km distance from Marina beach Chennai to Zero Mile of India, Nagpur, in a record time fo 44 hours and 34 minutes.
Samarth launched his operation 'Indian Oil Extra Green Mile by Mile Mission Zero Mile 2.0' at 10 pm on March 13 from Light House Marina Beach, Chennai. Overcoming numerous hurdles along the way, he finished the race on Wednesday evening to the applause of Nagpur cycling enthusiasts.
The 41-year-old Samarth has now created a World UltraCycling Association record. It was almost non-stop cycling from Chennai to Nagpur without any sleep breaks. The only time he took a break was to change clothes or his cycle. The total ride time was 41 hours and 46 minutes.
During his marathon ride, the Scott cycle he was using got only one puncture as he went on to achieve another landmark.
One of the toughest rides I have had in my career: Amit Samarth
Samarth was exhausted after the grueling journey. He was also relieved as he reached his hometown to the beating of drums being played by his enthusiastic fans.
“I must say that it was one of the toughest cycling rides of my career. When we planned the mission, it did not look like that. However, as I started in Chennai, I realized it will be difficult. The heat and humidity were extreme in Chennai. The busy city and heavy traffic meant it took me nearly an hour to get out of the city. I increased the speed when I touched the highway. The initial plan to cycle as fast as possible during the first night was implemented successfully,” said Amit Samarth while talking to Sportskeeda.
Samarth created a World UltraCycling record in February 2021, cycling 6000-km on the Golden Quadrilateral Highway of India in 13 days, 9 hours and 50 minutes.
I wanted to quit midway due to the scorching heat and strong winds: Samarth
Unlike his previous record-breaking feat from New Delhi to Nagpur, this Chennai-Nagpur journey was torturous for Samarth. He wanted to abandon the ride due to the scorching heat and strong force of the wind.
“When I was still around 200 kms away from Nagpur, I seriously thought of quitting the ride. I just couldn't get going. The scorching heat and humidity proved too much for me. The strong force of the wind made matters worse for me. I was just praying to God to give me a clear path to Nagpur and better weather conditions. I thought I would reach Nagpur in an ambulance rather than on my cycle. It was so dangerous,” said an emotional Samarth as he broke down, recalling his tough ride.
His wife Mukul Samarth provided much-needed emotional support when he was feeling low on confidence.
Samarth was crewed and navigated by highly trained crew members. Dilip Warkad was the crew chief. His crew members include Bhushan Deosarkar, Pradeep Deshpande, Parth Manapure, Bhavesh Patre, Vishwas Naitam, Haricharan Kumaraswamy, Mohsin, Aniket Shegaokar, Sudhir Baldota, Priyadarshan Bhabda and Mahesh Umredkar.
The ride director was Jeetendra Nayak, who has been his crew chief in Race Across America, Red Bull Trans Siberian Extreme and Ride Across India.
My crew pumped me up and forced me to complete the tough ride: Samarth
In his hour of glory, Samarth did not forget the massive contribution of his crew members. Like Samarth, none of the members of the crew slept for two days.
“The major credit of my success should go to my crew. The team did a fantastic job of keeping me alive. I was down and out but they kept me egging on. It was only because of my team that I decided against quitting the race midway. They kept me on a liquid diet so that I kept myself hydrated and had enough energy to complete the long journey. I also want to thank my sponsors Indian Oil and Scott for providing me with good bikes,” said Samarth.
Samarth's entire ride was live tracked on www.amitsamarth.com and during this record-setting cycle ride, Team Amit Samarth raised funds for India's Pedal Cycling City Nagpur Project. He also wants to develop Nagpur as a Cycling City and generate resources to promote cycling in Nagpur.
Samarth, who is a doctor by profession, is also the Bicycle Mayor of Nagpur. Samarth is actively involved in promoting cycling on a day-to-day basis. He has trained hundreds of people to run marathons and take part in cycling and ultracycling events successfully.
Samarth is also the director of Miles N Miler Endurance Sports Academy, actively involved in training people for marathons, triathlons, cycling and ultracycling in Nagpur and across the country.
Nagpur municipal commissioner and cycling enthusiast B Radhakrishnan and officials of Nagpur Metro felicitated Samarth for accomplishing this massive ride.
Amit Samarth's other achievements
1. The first Asian cyclist to finish the 9100-km Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme race in Russia in 2018 in 25 days.
2. The first Indian to finish the Race Across America in 2017. 5000-km in 11 days and 21 hours.
3. Ride Across India 6000-km on the Golden Quadrilateral Highway of India in 13 days, 9 hours and 50 minutes, which is a World UltraCycling Association (WUCA) Record.
4. Winner of Deccan Cliffhanger (2017)
5. Multiple times Ironman (17 times)
6. India Gate, New Delhi to Zero Mile, Nagpur 1035-km in 39 hours, Mile by Mile, Mission Zero Mile 1.0 supported by Indian Oil XtraGreen. It's a WUCA record.