Stress Buster

Marathon Runner

How a casual experience spurred V Vaidyanathan of Capital First to fall in love with running

Courtesy: V Vaidyanathan

One look at his fresh face, and no one would guess that V Vaidyanathan just ran 14 km the morning we met him at his Elphinstone Road office in central Mumbai. He leans back on his chair, closes his eyes and thinks back to the time he ran his first Standard Chartered Bank-sponsored marathon at the age of 34, way back in 2004. “I participated in my first marathon with very little preparation. I covered 42 km in 5 hours and 45 minutes,” says Vaidyanathan, chairman, Capital First, the Mumbai-based and Warburg Pincus-controlled NBFC that specialises in retail and MSME financing, as he opens his eyes. “I’ve been able to reduce this time to 4 hours and 9 minutes over the years,” he exclaims. Vaidyanathan developed an interest in running marathons back in 2000, when he was the managing director of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, and has always run for charity. “My ICICI colleagues always encouraged me to follow my passion. I think it was fantastic branding for the company as well.” Since then, Vaidyanathan hasn’t stopped running and recently completed his 21st run at the Delhi marathon on November 29. “I was never a long-distance runner. I liked playing cricket and volleyball, like any other kid,” recollects Vaidyanathan.