Anu Vaidyanathan
Anu Vaidyanathan

 Bengaluru-based Anu Vaidyanathan is the first Asian (male or female) to compete in Ultraman Canada triathlon in 2009 and in the event, she had to do 10km swim, 420km bike and 84.4km run. She came in sixth place. Triathlon is an arduous sport involving swimming, cycling and running. 

Anu specialises in the half-Ironman (1.9K swim, 90K bike, 21.2K run) and Ironman length (3.8K swim, 180K bike, 42.2K run) events, which are amongst the most difficult, single-day endurance events in the world. 

Anu backed up Ultraman with Ironman Canada, three weeks later, becoming the only athlete to do so in the history of the race.

Besides being an award-winning athlete, Anu is an entrepreneur, a sought-after speaker at forums on sport, entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership and the founder of PatNMarks, an Intellectual Property Consulting Firm. 

Anu received her PhD in Electrical Engineering at UC Canterbury setting the Department and University record in 26 months, shortly after her Ultraman placing. She has been affiliated with both the Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar and the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad teaching courses in Computer Architecture, Innovation and Business Policy. The tri-athlete has recently penned a book ‘Anywhere But Home’; it is about her struggle in the middle-class family, adventures, triumphs and best moments as a triathlete. 

Tell us about your book ‘Anywhere But Home’?
Even though my coaches advised me to get married instead of participating in events which were far for women, I found Triathlon and became a trainee for one of the most challenging sports in the world. ‘Anywhere But Home’ is about my journey as a triathlete and my passion on the roads of Bengaluru and across several Indian cities. 

What inspired you to write this book?
My childhood, life in sports, negotiating stereotypes and goals inspired me to write this book. Many people asked me to write a book on my experiences. When I was pregnant and slowed down in my sport, I decided to write the book. I completed it in two-and-half-years.

A triathlon is a gruelling event . What was your training regimen for this?
Triathlon is an arduous sport involving swimming, cycling and running on the same day, event after event, with no break. We had trained a lot for Triathlon; we participated in two to three sessions before getting into the main act. 

Why did you choose such an extreme sport?
The reasons are different at different times. At the beginning, I think it was a great challenge to train for this in India, being a woman. It was also an adventure and an education in its own right. I was also interested in trying different types of sports events. It was more about what suited my mind and my aspirations.

Are any more books in the offing?
I am planning to write a book on business very soon. 

By: V Sateesh Reddy