India’s first elite Iron athlete to race Abu Dhabi

Anu Vaidyanathan takes her marks for US230,000 Abu Dhabi International Triathlon


India’s first elite Ironman athlete, 32-year-old Anu Vaidyanathan-Ahuja, is looking to be a role model to women across the Arabian Gulf as she readies to make her regional debut at next month’s flagship US$230,000 Abu Dhabi International Triathlon.


Anu is a national icon, having become both the first Indian athlete to qualify for a 70.3 World Championship event and the first Asian to finish an Ultraman (10Km swim, 420Km bike, 84.4Km run), when she placed 6th at Ultraman Canada 2009.

And the Bangalore-based star is encouraging other women to get active and motivated by sport.

“Start gradually and enjoy the process. I see too many people try to cram everything in, in a huge rush and end up burning out. It is important to build a love for the sport into the process,” said Anu, who runs a company, PatNMarks, which specialises in Intellectual Property Consulting.

A Visiting Faculty member at the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, Anu has been widely heralded by women worldwide for her work-life balance, marrying her love of sport with her rising career. 

Anu is also looking forward to enjoying some well deserved down-time in the UAE capital following race day, on March 2nd.


Anu is one 10 athletes invited to compete in the fourth Abu Dhabi event as part of organiser, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority’s (TCA Abu Dhabi) competition to find the most inspirational stories in the sport. The event received over 100 entries from inspirational triathletes globally.