Shaikh Saqer bin Salman Al Khalifa
Abu Dhabi Triathlon offers chance for GCC heroes
Manama, January 14, 2014
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), organiser of the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon, is rolling out its third successive annual Local Heroes Programme to give Gulf sports enthusiasts the chance to represent their country by competing in the March 15 event.
‘Local Heroes’ returns with a brand new twist for the March triathlon. Five Local Hero spots will go to participants from the previous four triathlons, who will then be challenged to bring on-board a first-timer or an amateur triathlete to train with them for the race.
All 10 GCC ‘Local Heroes’ will get return flights to Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways for the race, two nights’ stay at the beachfront Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan hotel, access to expert advice from the race team’s experts and free entry into the triathlon.
Shaikh Saqer bin Salman Al Khalifa, a member of Bahrain’s ruling family and recently appointed as President of the Bahrain Triathlon Association, competed last year and was the first to confirm his spot in the 2014 programme.
"It is really wonderful that I get to hit the challenge again, to show how last year's Local Heroes Programme pushed me to continue training and return to break my record time. Being able to bring along someone who is new to triathlon just really adds to the challenge. Here's what I will do, I will select a person who has never done a triathlon before, but one who can be a true inspiration, like a known comedian or a lady for example. This will certainly promote the sport of triathlon through my rookie. I'm excited!"
The Local Heroes Programme has gone from strength to strength since its 2011 launch, helping to develop the sport across the Gulf and driving participation for one of the region’s biggest annual triathlon events. This year, the number of GCC entries for the Abu Dhabi race is expected to grow by over 7 per cent, especially in the short and sprint distances, which have become hugely popular amongst regional first-timers and amateur triathletes.
Starting in the shimmering turquoise waters off Abu Dhabi’s Blue Flagged public beach, the course weaves along the UAE capital’s stunning Corniche to the spectacular Yas Marina Circuit, home to the annual Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Yas Island, before returning to the heart of the city.
The Abu Dhabi International Triathlon offers three course distances; the 223km ‘long course’ (3km swim, a 200km cycle and 20km run), the half-length ‘short’ course (1.5km swim, a 100km cycle and a 10 km run) and the sprint course (750m swim, a 50km bike and 5km run). Both the ‘short’ and the ‘sprint’ can be run as a team relay.
Athletes interested in entering should visit www.abudhabitriathlon.com - TradeArabia News Service