Anju Khosla has become the oldest Indian women to participate in an Ironman Triathlon. The 52-year-old has completed the race at an age when most people are busy planning their retirement.
One of the toughest sporting events in the world, Ironman Triathlon involves 3.86 km swimming leg, 180.25 bike leg and marathon of 42.2 km, all of which is to be completed without a break. The race takes place in Carinthia, Austria.
Anju completed her first full triathlon in 15 hours, 54 minutes and 54 seconds.
A resident of New Delhi, Anju said, “My family is very fitness oriented; it is a vital part of our lives. It has been a gradual process through the last 10 years that has brought me to this point. Not many women take up the sport, especially in India. I was checking the records and found I am only the fifth Indian woman to complete it, and by virtue of my age, I am the oldest Indian woman to have done it.”
Anju, who runs a financial service company, said, “Age brings you experience but is also a limiting factor as my body can’t train like a 30-year-old. The average age for a triathlete is 30-35 when they peak. At 52, you can’t be doing the same so I had to break up my training sessions. But I guess I always had that athletic streak in me since childhood.”
Daughter of an army officer, Anju said that she started cycling 10 years ago. She also added that she gradually ventured into the other two disciplines (swimming and running), when she decided to participate in the triathlon.
“I took to casual cycling about 10 years back. Then I got into endurance cycling. I did a non-stop ‘500 km in 24 hours’ event from Jodhpur to Jaisalmer and back. I followed it up with other long-distance cycling races of 200 km, 300 km or 400 km slowly over the years. I built up my endurance. Then running is something we have done all our lives. I have taken part in the Airtel Delhi Half-Marathon," she said.
“Then in 2013, a local club organised a small triathlon near Talkatora and I thought of trying it out. That was my first triathlon. Every year since then, the first year I did short distance and then Olympic distance. Then I did the half Ironman distance in Colombo in February to do a formal half Ironman. That is how I got into triathlon,” she added.
Around 2,761 competitors took part in the triathlon, out of which 2,315 completed the race. Anju ranked 38th out of the 41 competitors in her age category (W50). She ranked 319th among 336 athletes. Her overall ranking was 2,257th.
Expressing her willingness to compete in more triathlons with her husband, who also happens to be her training partner, Anju said, “I give full credit to my Pune-based coach Kaustubh Radkar for the scientific training because of which I could complete the Ironman Triathlon.”
Information Source: hindustantimes
Title Image Source: hindudtantimes