‘What do you want to name the team?’ I asked my friend and swimmer on our IRONMAN team, Swaleh Balala.

‘How does panther sound to you?’ He asked.

‘Very fast’ I replied, and that’s how this year’s fastest team from Fitness First took shape.

Team Panthers consisted of Swaleh Balala, cyclist- Tom Friswell, and the runner- myself, Shaikh Fahad.

With a line up possessing such firepower, a lot was expected from our team, and we surely did not disappoint!

The Race

We started off on a very strong note with Balala getting us a swim time of 29 minutes. He definitely did not let the team down especially since having caught a cold the night before the race.

The second transition is the game-changer and was on the shoulders of our cyclist, Tom. Tom maintained the momentum set by Balala and kept us in the hunt throughout his course time. Tom was able to attain a great timing of 2 hours and 55 minutes.

Finally, I was off to finish the last leg of the race, the run. I started on a strong note but I could not carry on for long with the sun constantly creeping on my head. The run was a bit hard in comparison to last year’s. There was no wind and the water stations weren’t evenly placed. In the end, I managed to finish the run at 1 hour and 55 minutes. Not the best of my timings but a satisfactory one for the weather.

To add the cherry on top of the cake, Team Panthers finished as the fastest team from Fitness First with an overall ranking of 19th from 95 competing teams!

Next year our goal is to be in the top 15!

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