Race ME Nissan Triathlon (Olympic Distance), Atlantis Hotel, Dubai

Race ME Atlantis Triathlon – Olympic distance Mens 35-39

Total time: 2hrs 21m 22s

Not wishing to count the couple of triathlons I did in the UK several years (two sprints which I did on a mountain bike and with no wetsuit for the freezing lake swims), this was my second triathlon and first at Olympic distance.  I had found my first (the sprint at Abu Dhabi in March) pretty tough in the heat.   I’m not sure that buying my first road bike in 15 years just a few weeks before that one helped matters much…   This time around, after 3 months’ training I felt slightly better prepared…..

 Swim: 25m, 34s

This was a beach start, triangular, 750m two-lap course.   The starting point was however on one beach and the mid-point/swim finish was on another.   Swim conditions were fantastic – water was around 23 degrees and very clear, there was no wind and the turning points were clearly visible.  Wetsuits were not allowed which suited me (I didn’t own one at the time!).

It can’t be every day in this or any other sport that you get to line up against some of the best in the game - Macca and Till Schramm were both in my wave.   Being a half decent swimmer I thought for just a moment that I may be able to stay on their feet for a while.  Not a chance!  The front runners (a group of 4-5) went off really fast and had 30m on the second pack (3-4 of us) by the time we hit the first turning point. 

All in all I had a strong swim.  The distance clocked by most was around 1750m including the 50m run at the half way point so my target of 1m 30s per 100m was about right. 

Bike: 1h 09m, 36s

The swim-bike transition seemed to go fairly well and I was on the bike quicker than expected.  The ride was a two-lap course which went from transition (Sandance car park), up and down the crescent (the One & Only Hotel end), then up and down the trunk of the palm.  Despite starting at 6am on a Friday, there were still a number of vehicles on the course and at times it became dangerous when they started to ignore the traffic cones.  Speed bumps, tight turns, roundabouts and cobbled roads made the course tricky at times.  If I had aero bars on my bike, I doubt I would have been able to spend much time on them – even getting some serious speed up on the underpass section was a pain due to the speed bumps!

All in all I was happy with the ride, but fell around 5 minutes short of the time I would have liked.  I will put that down to a lack of experience – until next year!

Run: 44m, 15s

Hot hot hot…..

I’m sure this was a nice course for some (two times up and down the Rixos end of the crescent) but I was too busy breathing out of my ass and trying to cool myself to enjoy the view.  I normally look forward to a tail wind (there was a slight breeze on the crescent) but that just meant no breeze to cool me down in the 35 degree heat….  Still; I thought I was going fairly well until I got lapped by three runners (Olivier Godart , Till Schramm and Ian LePelley) – that was a kick in the balls! 



All in all I was fairly happy with the performance.  It was a great event, a fantastic setting and a good confidence-builder prior to my first 70.3 in August. 

- Written by Andy Edwards