Yesterday was the first Yas Marina Triathlon. The event was completely contained in the F1 circuit. The swim was in the marina area where the boats are moored, the cycle was on the Formula One track and the run was around the drag race strip. Transition was in the pits. There was a choice between the Olympic distance (1.5 km swim, 40 km cycle and 10 km run) or the Sprint distance (750 m swim, 20 km cycle, 5 km run). Assuming that I would train for it, I signed up for the Olympic distance months ago when it was announced. While I didn't do horribly, I did notice the effects of having not swum for the past few months.
I really liked the idea of running the triathlon on the track. Considering that they run a weekly Tuesday night training session on the track, it was a natural next step. I felt that the novelty of location was one of the biggest draws to the event. There were only one or two things that I felt could be improved on.
The actual distance of the cycle was only about 38 km. Because the track length is 5.55 km, it would either have to be around 38 km or around 43 km. For me having the cycle distance be a little off from the official Olympic distance was preferable to having two transition points. The other thing that I think they could work on is bike security. Sure, they only let in people with green wrist bands, but there was no system in place to make sure that people went out with the correct bike. Or that they only took one bike. My bicycle is a mid-range one so I'm not all that worried, but I'd hate to see a top-of-the-range bike get stolen. I suppose that it was a small enough race that there wasn't the worry, but I think that is an issue that need to be addressed eventually.
In addition, there was a disabled athlete who did the race. (You can read the article about him here.) I didn't even really see him around, but I did see his bike.
Overall, I thought that it was pretty well run. If it is held next year, I'd like to compete, though I think I might make sure that I do a bit more training for it.