Meet Sedilta Pilon Nubatonis: Indonesia's Duathlon Dynamo

Meet Sedilta Pilon Nubatonis: Indonesia's Duathlon Dynamo

Meet Sedilta Pilon Nubatonis, an Indonesian athlete who is chasing duathlon glory, all while balancing his military commitments as he serves as Special Force Operator, 1st Marine Reconnaissance Battalion, Indonesian Marine Corps.

Off the bat of a string of  successes in 2023 including SEA Games Cambodia 2023, PTO Asian Open 2023 and National XXI Banten 2023 and with the Asian Open Philippines Duathlon approaching on November 26,

we interviewed Pilon to find out how he lives his life with a strong sense of purpose. His story proves that doing what you love with unwavering determination is a potent force.

An Unexpected Duathlon Debut

Pilon’s venture into the world of duathlons began unexpectedly when he was freshly enlisted in the Navy, he found himself facing what was then a unique challenge: a triathlon training camp amid a group of participants who were seasoned in endurance sports.

It was at this training camp that Pilon’s story took an unexpected turn. As a newcomer, he not only held his own but outpaced his more experienced peers. This marked the inception of what would become an incredible journey filled with passion and perseverance.

By 2019, with just a year of triathlon training under his belt, primarily focussed on running, Pilon made his racing debut. He took his first strides in the running leg of the Sungailiat Triathlon as part of a mixed relay team and ever since became hooked.

Chasing That Finish Line Feeling

Pilon’s journey isn't just about getting started it's about racing forward. His first triathlon race took place in 2021, amidst the challenges of COVID, in Bangka Belitung - in this debut race he came 5th.

Since then, he's been on a remarkable journey, participating in a total of three triathlons, including the regional championships in Yogyakarta, Bangka Belitung, and Sungailiat in 2022. But that's not all.

Pilon’s enthusiasm for duathlons in particular has taken him to the starting line 15 times since 2021, with 5 podium finishes.

When asked about his favorite race, Pilon’s eyes lit up as he recalled the PTO Asian Open in Singapore in 2023. For him, it was more than just a race; it was an experience.

The atmosphere, the venue, and the absence of pressure made it stand out. It was a different feeling than competing in Indonesia, and it left an indelible mark on him.

A Love Story with Multisport

Pilon’s journey into duathlons and running is nothing short of a love story. His dedication and determination stem from a desire to continuously improve and conquer new challenges. While he excels in duathlons, his heart is set on being a triathlete.

While his passion for running and duathlon has undoubtedly grown, he knows that to become a complete triathlete, he must master swimming, a skill he's currently working on. This dream to evolve into a triathlete fuels his relentless spirit.

Race Day Memories: Triumph and Grit

Pilon’s racing journey is filled with memorable moments, from triumphant victories to gritty challenges.

Favorite Memory: Indonesia National Games, Papua 2020

One of his cherished memories is from the Indonesia National Games in Papua 2020. After a year-long break for special forces training, he had just four months to prepare.

Against the odds, he secured a bronze medal in Duathlon, standing alongside gold medalist Ronald and silver medalist Jauhari Johan.

Toughest Memory: West Java Triathlon, Cirebon

In the West Java Triathlon in Cirebon, Pilon faced adversity. A month before the race, an ankle injury had him sidelined. With only one week of training, he persevered through the pain and emerged as the winner of the competition, clinching third place overall and first in the Army/Police category.

Sedilta's racing journey is a testament to his determination, and his tales of triumph and tenacity continue to inspire. 

Race Day Rituals: A Glimpse into Pilon’s World

Race days are not just about the physical preparation but also about the rituals and routines that make it all come together. Before hitting the starting line, Pilon always seeks blessings from his parents.

Their prayers are a source of strength and inspiration, a reminder of the support system that stands behind him.

As for nutrition, he takes a unique approach. He opts for non-rice dishes for his carb-loading ritual, and indulges in treats like pizza and burgers. Carbohydrates dominate his plate, accounting for a whopping 90%, with only a modest 10% for protein.

Pilon avoids rice as part of his pre-race nutrition strategy, citing its lower digestibility. He's made this adjustment to ensure his body is primed for peak performance.

But it's not all about the training and nutrition; fashion also matters. Pilon believes in looking the part and shares that his confidence on race day comes from feeling good about his appearance.

His tri suit must fit perfectly, his shoes must be clean, and his socks must be stylish. Fashion, for Pilon, is a piece of the puzzle that completes the picture of a confident and purpose-driven athlete.

The Triathlon Juggling Act - Life's Precise Division

One may wonder how Pilon excels at juggling military duties, training, and family life. His secret? Precision. He allocates his time methodically—80% for training, 10% for military duties, and another 10% for family.

His military duties involve daily roll-call and sporadic requests, but he is grateful that his unit respects his sports training as a top priority. Amidst the bustle, Pilon also  maintains a strong connection with his family.

He dedicates evenings post-training for military duties and quality time with loved ones. A phone call in the evening keeps them close.

His precise time management underscores the significance of balancing priorities effectively. It's a testament to the value of a supportive work environment and the importance of maintaining connections with loved ones even in a busy schedule. In life's intricate juggling act, finding the right balance is the key to fulfillment.

At the heart of his drive is a simple but powerful desire: making his parents happy. He used the bonus from winning a bronze medal in the SEA Games to build a new house for his parents.

The immense joy he felt in doing so is his constant motivator. Pilon’s background, growing up in an underprivileged family, adds depth to his accomplishments in sports and triathlon. He takes pride in the fact that he can now support his parents and his siblings through his passion.

Their happiness fuels his dedication. Although he's achieved much, an unfinished house stands as a reminder that there's more to accomplish. It's a daily source of motivation, pushing him to train harder and reach for new heights in the world of duathlons and triathlons.

A Message to Newbies: Embrace Change and Take That Leap

Pilon shared a heartfelt message for newcomers to the world of sports that is centred on mindset..

To thrive, you need to be open to change and unafraid of trying something new. This can be a challenge, especially for those who are content within their comfort zones.”

Inspiration from Fellow Triathletes

Pilon is in awe of Kristian Blummenfelt, a remarkable triathlete who defies conventional expectations. Blummenfelt's achievements, despite not having the most ideal posture, have left an indelible mark on Pilon.

His curiosity is piqued by Blummenfelt's training routine, his unwavering discipline, and his dietary choices. He aspires to be like him in more ways than one.

Chasing Speed and National Glory

Looking ahead, Pilon dreams of running faster, with a sub-15 5K time as a personal goal. He also aspires to compete with the national running team, showcasing his talent on a bigger stage.

His bucket list also includes winning a gold medal at the SEA Games in Thailand, a victory that would bring him more than just athletic recognition. A gold medal would secure a promotion in his military unit, an achievement he deeply desires.

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