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India Today - - SIMPLY PUNE -

In July 2011, Sucheta Kadethankar be­came the first In­dian to cross the 1,636 km long Gobi Desert. Brav­ing blis­ters and 45 de­grees cel­sius heat, she walked an av­er­age of 33 km ev­ery­day be­fore com­plet­ing the ex­pe­di­tion on the 51st day. “Once you en­dure the ini­tial pain, the dis­com­fort is no longer phys­i­cal,” she says. Kadethankar went on her first trek to Bhulesh­war when she was seven and since then has scaled 150 peaks in the state.

THE JOUR­NEY She read about the Gobi ex­pe­di­tion on a web por­tal and trained for six months be­fore the ex­pe­di­tion. A former jour­nal­ist, she now works as a tech­ni­cal writer with Sy­man­tec, an IT firm. THE CHAL­LENGE “There is no ex­ter­nal mo­ti­va­tion in the desert un­like the moun­tains which re­fresh your mind,” she says.

WHAT KEEPS HER TREKKING? When a fel­low trekker per­forms bet­ter than her.

NEXT The 4,500 km Great Hi­malayan Trail Con­tact: www.face­­thankar

“I like to test my­self in dif­fer­ent con­di­tions and see how I per­form. That is why I was at­tracted to the Gobi Desert.”

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