Triathlete Anu pushes endurance sports

Last Updated: Wed, Sep 04, 2013 13:10 hrs

New Delhi, Sep 4 (IANS) Anu Vaidyanathan, the first Indian female triathlete to complete the extreme endurance challenge Ironman, wants to raise awareness for the sport in India.

The Bangalore-resident, who runs four-to-six triathlons in a year, is trying to motivate people to take up endurance sports as a stress-buster and for staying healthy.

"I personally try to motivate people at several events where I speak about my experiences at various races. I know many people who have got interested in the sport and participate locally," said Anu, who is currently recuperating from a shoulder injury and will participate in the next race in Arizona, the United States, in late November.

Triathlons are multiple-stage races involving three endurance disciplines -- swimming, cycling, and running -- and has been part of the Olympics since 2000 in Sydney.

"I want to promote endurance athletics, especially among women, in India. When I started, I had no idea about the sport but gradually I came to know more about it. People are a lot more aware of endurance sports in India now than what they were five-to-six years ago," said Anu, who Wednesday was roped in as the brand ambassador of cycling brand Trek.

"Take marathons for example -- before all these marathons started in India around eight years back, it wasn't that popular. But now, thousands participate in every city. Triathlon is a niche sport and is still in the shadows but it has started to roll.

"More people are participating at the local level but they need to participate consistently to make an impact. It is a gradual process and will take time," added Anu, who was the first Indian female to complete the Ironman Triathlon which involves a 3.86 km swim, 180.25 km biking and a marathon (42.2 km) run.

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