The fifth anniversary of the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon is set for next weekend March 15 and it’s a completely sold out event. Almost 2,400 triathletes from 68 countries will take part at Abu Dhabi Corniche making it one of the world’s 20 largest must-do triathlons.
“The huge demand for the event demonstrates a consistent rise in amateurs and elites looking for the ultimate triathlon challenge with 60 per cent of racers registered from around the world and 40 per cent from the UAE alone,” explained Faisal Al Sheikh, Director, Events Bureau, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), which presents the annual event. “The number of keen triathletes flying in for the race from countries such as Russia, Portugal, the Philippines, Brazil, South Africa, Japan and Finland continues to rise which is a positive indicator of the event’s success and growth on a global scale.”
The ITU’s successful bid two years ago for the inclusion of triathlon in the Arab Games 2015 was a significant step for the sport in the Middle East, offering an additional opportunity to showcase the sport internationally and promote it as a gateway to active lifestyles.
“We are hoping this event will inspire more adults and children in the region to engage in the sport and encourage the international community to travel to the Emirates,” added Al Sheikh.
This year the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon features first-time entries from as far afield as Algeria, China, Ethiopia, Iceland, Norway, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine and Vietnam.
The Abu Dhabi International Triathlon will again offer three different distances – Long, Short and Sprint Courses – for racers of all abilities. The short and sprint distances also offer the popular option of relay entry, allowing groups of colleagues, families and friends to tackle the event together.
Age groupers will have great company with some of the sport’s biggest stars including Olympic gold and bronze medallists the Brownlee Brothers, defending champions Belgium’s Frederick Van Lierde, Australia’s Melissa Hauschildt and Spain’s Eneko Llanos.