Hyderabad: Sexagenarian athlete Anna Alexander has been a 'podium finisher' in her own way since she hit the track more than two years ago.
At the recent Tata Mumbai Marathon , the city runner won her second consecutive medal, a silver. Competing in the 60-64 years age group, the part-time teacher clocked 1:19.45s in the 10K event.
Anna had won a gold medal in the same event last year. However, she had to rest content with silver this time as South Africa's Gillian Fordyce clinched gold by timing 1:03:40s.
Speaking to TOI on Sunday, Anna said: “I love running. It's fun. Once you start running and participating in competitions, it becomes a habit," a voluntary English teacher, who is associated with PEGA 'Teach for Change', said.
To keep herself fit, Anna practices regularly. "I go to Necklace Road almost every day. At least thrice a week, I go for a run. And on other days, I do walking and jogging to keep myself fit," she added.
Anna hit the start lane by accident, though. "It all started in 2016 when my elder son Ashwin entered my name for the Pinkathon event, which is a regular feature in the city. My sons Ashwin and Nikhil Alexander, who works in England, regularly participate in marathon, ultra marathon, triathlon and other events," she recalled.
Anna twice made the podium at the Airtel Hyderabad marathon, where she won gold in the 10K Run in 2017 and silver last year. She also finished third in the Freedom Hyderabad 10K Run in November last year. She also runs the duathlon — running and cycling events. She has been a regular at the Go Heritage events in Hyderabad and Hampi.
Hailing from Tiruvalla in Kerala, Anna was with Bharat Petroleum in Mumbai before moving to the Pearl City. She worked as a teacher in Manjaree pre-primary school in Banjara Hills for nearly 20 years before it wound up in 2011.
"Teaching is my other passion," said Anna, who works as a volunteer English teacher at the Government School in Dharam Karan Road (Ameerpet).
Anna owed her success to her husband Ajit Alexander George, sons, daughter-in-law and friends for their support. "Without their support it would not have been possible. They all encourage me to run," she signed off.