Milind Soman completes world's toughest endurance challenge in Florida

Milind Soman Ultraman
Milind Soman set a new level of excellence for himself as he completed the Ultraman Triathlon

What’s the story?

It’s been more than two decades since model/actor Milind Soman ushered in new levels of male perfection after his appearance in the song “Made in India”. Since then, he has outdone himself several times by being one of the icons for physical fitness both in India and around the world. The most recent feather in his cap was earning the title “Ultraman”.

In case you are dismissive of “Ultraman” as being some fantasy superhero name, it is really necessary to let go of that misconception. The 51-year old just completed what is widely hailed as one of the toughest marathons in the world. As if covering 517km in three days was not enough, Milind Soman was the only one of the contestants to complete this race barefoot.

In his own word to Huffington Post,”For those who want to start running, my advice would be to take it slow and easy. Be patient with yourself. Explore your body's responses. Learn to listen to your body.”


When Soman turned 50, he decided to register for his first triathlon race and inevitably ended up choosing the most challenging platform for his debut. The Ironman triathlon he participated in comprised of a 3.8km swim, a 180 km bike ride, and a 42.2km run.

Although averse to the idea of a bike and a swimming pool initially, focus and a gruelling schedule helped him complete the race in 15 hours and 19 minutes. The rules of the race required a participant to complete the race within 17 hours to be eligible for the title.

A thirst for gruelling challenges seems to run in Soman’s family. While he has always attributed his iron will to the encouragement and inspiration he received from his mother, his three sisters do not seem to be far behind. His mother took up trekking after she retired at the age of 60.

Presently, she participates in the Oxfam Trailwalker which is a 100km walk between Mumbai and Bengaluru. His three sisters, all above the age of 50, are adventure sports enthusiasts. As such, Soman has been quite consistent in his refusal to acknowledge age as a constraint.

The Finer Points

The Ultraman Triathlon has been an annual event since 1983 after its inception in Hawaii. The Florida chapter of this race was started as recent as 2014. As one of the toughest endurance challenges, the race in question included a 10km swim, a 42.1km bike ride, and 84.4km to be covered on foot over three days.

If you think that is more than enough time to complete a challenge of this magnitude, it is pertinent to remember the weather in Florida which is anything but pleasant. In addition to the glaring heat which can dampen the toughest of spirits, Milind Soman also had to overcome a punctured tire he encountered in the middle of the race.

Despite this, the unofficial poster boy for physical fitness in India finished the race in the forty-first position. He was one among the five athletes from India to take part in this exclusive race.

Also read: Milind Soman to run 570 km for ‘The Great India Run’

What’s next?

Milind Soman has always found a way to stay in the limelight for all the right reasons. He hopes to stand as an example to everyone wistfully looking to lead a healthier lifestyle overall.

Sportskeeda’s Take

If you need more reasons to be inspired by the “Ultraman”, you need only remind yourself that he co-founded the Pinkathon, India’s biggest women’s run which is conducted in most of the major cities in the country. We hope Milind Soman continues being the paragon for physical fitness for many years to come.

Edited by Staff Editor
App download animated image Get the free App now