Annah Watkinson splits her time between elite triathlon competition and a highly successful career in investment banking.
She has enjoyed plenty of success on home soil in South Africa, and was was unrivalled in her national long-distance championships between 2015 and 2017 as she claimed a hat-trick of titles.
Locally Annah was also victorious at IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa (one of her favourite races), in early 2019 while her third place at IRONMAN South Africa in March 2019 earned her a spot at the World Championship in Kona.
Not only is ‘Annah Banana’ - as she is affectionately known - a world-class triathlete, she is also Head of Global Finance Coastal at Absa Corporate and Investment Bank. Clearly competing at the highest level in both disciplines.
Annah’s transition into triathlon was an unlikely one. She started her sporting life as an artistic gymnast before her then boyfriend introduced her to the sport. After beating him in her first IRONMAN, she was hooked.
Her favourite discipline is the run, although she admits the swim is her focus and it is tough to gain a huge advantage in the water.
Work ethic is the key to Annah’s success in both her athletic and business careers. She “doesn’t tolerate laziness” and she is driven by “the magic of achieving the impossible”.
Despite excelling both in sport and in business, Annah tries to find the time to relax and she uses the Cape mountains as her sanctuary. Hikes up Table Mountain and The Twelve Apostles are a regular early Sunday morning ritual.
Her advice for any budding triathletes out there is simple - patience and consistency are the keys.
She also adds: “Give it a go, prepare to have the most fun you have ever had! Forget about everyone else during a race, and if you are feeling good, go hard”.