At an age when most people begin to plan for retirement, Anju Khosla is revving up life chasing fresh adventures. At 52, she has just become the oldest Indian woman to complete an Ironman Triathlon – one of the toughest one-day sporting events.
The New Delhi resident completed her first full Ironman Triathlon, in Carinthia, Austria, in 15 hours, 54 minutes and 54 seconds. It comprises 3.86 km swimming leg, 180.25 km bike leg followed by a marathon (42.2 km), to be completed without a break.
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.
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. In Austria, out of the 2,761 competitors, 2,315 crossed the finish line with Anju 38th out of 41 in her age category (W50). Among women, she was 319th out of 336 athletes and overall 2,257th.