Anu Vaidyanathan is the first Asian woman to complete Ultraman Canada: a punishing 10-kilometre swim, a 420-kilometre bike ride and an 84.4-kilometre run. She placed sixth. Which is breath-taking. But what is your typical good Indian girl, super-nerd doing at the Ultraman?
Anywhere but Home is the funny, heart-breaking, unexpected story of a woman who would not give up. As she followed her passion on the roads of Bangalore and across several Indian cities, coaches advised her to get married. She was stuck in sports facilities that lacked basic support systems, even toilets. If she wanted to compete, it would need to be on her own salary. All she could rely on were her own two feet and the seat of her bike.
With self-deprecatory humour and characteristic curiosity, Vaidyanathan tells the story of how she found triathlon, how she came to be training in one of the most challenging sports in the world. She writes of her many firsts in the Ultraman, Ironman, Half-Ironman, but also of motherhood and pushing the boundaries of what a body can do. Heart-warming and heart-breaking, this is most of all a tale of love: for a sport and for life.
Anu Vaidyanathan is the first India-based athlete to compete in Ironman triathlons and the first Asian to compete in Ultraman triathlons. - Wall Street Journal
Anu has been widely heralded by women worldwide for her work-life balance, marrying her love of sport with her rising career. - Triathlete Magazine Europe
Anu is a national icon, having broken down social and sporting barriers to 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. - LAVA Magazine
What does relaxation look like for a woman who has competed in six Iron Man triathlons? Gardening, it seems. - Huffington Post
Anu Vaidyanathan says it's tough to train on the crowded streets of Bangalore with people staring at her, especially when she's on her bicycle. - Business Standard
If you are a successful woman entrepreneur, with an outstanding academic record as well, would you take up an extreme sport and make it as a passion of your life? The slightly built, soft spoken Anu hardly fits the image of a sportswoman, who is into an extreme sport. - The Hindu
About the Author
Anu Vaidyanathan is 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 twenty-six months. She has been teaching courses in computer architecture, innovation and business policy at the Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
Anu is a regular speaker at forums on entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership. She is also an endurance athlete representing India in long-course triathlon.