The fifth Abu Dhabi International Triathlon is classed as one of the world’s most spectacular sporting events. After an 8 hour flight the team landed to a warm breeze of the Sahara Dessert, ready to take on what this beautiful country had to offer.
LETC were joined by the 2012 Olympians the Brownlee brothers and the 2010 Ironman 70.3 champion Jodie Swallow, along with thousands of other athletes from around the world including age groupers to first time triathletes, familiarising ourselves with the transition and the ultimate goal, the red carpet and the ‘finish line’.
The race started early, just after the sunrise with the elite athletes first to enter the shimmering turquoise waters of Abu Dhabi’s beautiful beach. The bike course followed which weaves its way through the dessert, including laps of the iconic ‘Yas Marina’ formula 1 circuit before returning to the Corniche for the run part of the event.
Athletes choose to compete in one of the three distances; Long Eaton Tri Club’s Husband and wife team Neil and Jodie Smith battled it out on the Sprint distance, both smashing their previous years times. Next up were another husband and wife team, Kev and Louise Jansen, along with Leanne Smith, Nicola Greensmith and Jennie Miller all completed the Short Course, with its 1500m sea swim, 100k on the bike and 10k Run, which by anyone’s calculation definitely isn’t a Short Course. Finally the last three members of the team took on the Long Course distance, Mark Harrison, Vreni Verhoeven and Vicky Yeomans battled through the searing 36 degree heat to complete the 3k swim, 200k Bike and finishing off with a half marathon.
The team had all made it, some 10 hours after the team stood on the beach watching the first club member run into the see. Sunburnt and sore from our efforts and time in the blistering heat, LETC along with thousands of others had endured and enjoyed the 2014 Abu Dhabi Triathlon.
As the sun set over the beautiful beach, there was already talk of next year.