Anu Vaidyanathan, at 32, sets one of the best examples in the recent times of the what the human potential is capable of and how it can be stretched beyond limits in order to achieve the best version of oneself. She has been in the long-course triathlon scene in India since the past few years and qualified for the Half Ironman 70.3 Clearwater World Championship in 2008. In 2009, she became the first and only woman to finish the well-renowned Ultraman Canada event and went on to complete the Ironman Canada exactly three weeks later.
Apart from being an athlete, she is also the founder and CEO of PatNMarks, which offers value added services in the field of intellectual property and has been a visiting faculty atIIT Ropar in the Department of Computer Sciences and IIM Ahmadabad. She also has a PhD in Electrical Engineering from University of Canterbury, which she completed in the record time of 26 months apart from a Bachelor’s and Masters in computer Science.
We engaged her in a little chat about her life and how she balances being a sports enthusiast, entrepreneur and academic extraordinaire simultaneously. Read on. : )
Q) When did you decide to compete for long course triathlons and what inspired you to do so?
A) I think the inspiration came from a combination of moving back to Bangalore, after a few years in the US, being interested in keeping my waistline at bay, being incredibly pissed with the bad traffic and general lack of healthy options for women who wanted to keep some semblance of sport alive in their lives – and of course, the huge element of adventure!
Q) Going by the current situation of the education system in the country, getting into the IITs and B-schools is considered more prestigious than exploring other career fields, such as sports for example. What’s your take on this?
Q)What is PatNMarks all about? Tell us more about the services it provides and it’s future prospects?
A) I keep things very simple, prioritize and generally avoid people who wouldn’t be adding any value to my life and endeavors. I am also very lucky to have a supportive family and spouse that really understand what makes me tick. I see many people running against the tide all too often. There is no revolution to be won with personal endeavors. Do it or don’t do it, its all up to you.
Q) What challenges did you face while being on the journey to be Asia’s only woman to complete the Ultraman alongside being academically successful?