Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Triathlon (part one)
The reason I first started doing triathlons last year was because I wanted to complete one in Japan before I moved to the Middle East. I figured that I wouldn't have the opportunity to compete in a triathlon once I moved here. It seems that the opposite is true. There is a much more tightly organized and active triathlon scene here. What's more, this coming Saturday, the first Abu Dhabi International Triathlon will be held.
Last year, I balked at the standard triathlon distance of 1.5 kilometer swim (about a mile), 40 kilometer bike ride (about 25 miles), and 10 kilometer run (about 6 miles). After completing that in May and and June last year in addition to meeting up with some cyclists here, I feel much more confident. For this race, I'll be doing the "short" course of 1.5 km swim, 100 km bike ride (about 60 miles), and 10 km run. The long course is 3 km swim, 200 km bike ride and 20 km run. People would be right to wonder why the cycle is so disproportionate to the other two events. Apparently, there is an elite Emirati athlete that is strongest in the cycle and the rumor is that they might want to give him an advantage.
On Saturday, I have to be down at the Emirates Palace a few miles away at 5:00 am. I don't expect my wife to drag the kids there to see me start the swim at 7:00, but I was a little disappointed at the resistance I encountered in trying to convince her to come out and cheer for me a little. I know dealing with two kids can be a pain, but since the cycle passes our apartment four times, the run twice and the finish line is a block away from our apartment, I didn't think I was asking too much. She said she was kidding, but I suspect that she was partially serious and changed her story when she saw how upset I was getting.
While I hope that the day goes smoothly, there's a small part of me that wants things to go as poorly as the Half-Marathon in January, if only so I have something interesting to complain about. So far on that front, things look promising. Less than a week before the event, the organizers have completely changed the long course at the suggestion of the Abu Dhabi Police Department. It seems that closing down two of the three exits from the city on a weekend so the cyclists can ride past the pretty mosque wasn't an acceptable idea. Luckily for me, it doesn't affect the short course that much. Also, I still get to do a loop around the Formula One racetrack so I'm happy with that.