Tuesday, April 17, 2012

TRI YAS, April 13, 2012

Bateen Beach is a new beach on Abu Dhabi Island. Scott did some training here prior to the Yas Tri due to our clubhouse pool being closed for maintenance. The beach is quite nice with toilet and shower facilities. A beautiful bridge under construction is in the background, it crosses to an island that will be developed for more housing.
View up the Bateen Beach, note the few beachgoers. Scott swam to and from the white breakwater all the way down at the end of this photo. We went twice the week before the Tri and he improved his time significantly.
Scott's group at the pre-tri briefing. He was in the third flight (a.k.a. wave) of swimmers to begin their race. The flight included all 19 of the olympic-length swimmers for the relay teams. After the briefing, the 100+ swimmers walk down a ramp and over to the edge of one of the docks in the marina on Yas Island. Swimmers jump into the water and swim out to a gathering point. There were 7 waves of triathletes; each wave had a different color swim cap - this helps to distinguish between swimmers and quite helpful for the spectators. One of our friends ended up in the "pink" cap wave; he was not thrilled with PINK!
Scott's group has heard the starting horn and begun their swim. Scott is just about center.(can you see him?) Sprint-distance swimmers (750 meters) make their way out of the berthing area and make a right and swim in an oblong pattern then head back down this corridor to the exit ramp. Olympic-distance swimmers (1,500 meters) swim the oblong pattern twice.

Martin Hutchinson lives in Dubai and is good friends of Katherine and Hendrik Atsma. Hendrik was competing in his first triathlon (Hendrik was the runner for Scott's relay team in the Abu Dhabi Triathlon in March 2011) Martin was standing beside me when Scott's flight went off; he had come from Dubai to help cheer Hendrik along as he completed the entire triathlon - Hendrik's first. "Well Done" to Hendrik!
The building behind Martin is a hotel. The F-1 track actually goes between the two buildings which make up the hotel. Can you imagine being that close to an F-1 race? The outer covering of the hotel is lit purple at night, it is quite a lovely sight.
Scott as he exits the water and heads up the ramp on the left. He has to make his way to transition, where the timing chip (look at the black strap around Scott's right ankle) is removed and passed to Stephan Saenger. Stephan may now put on his helmet and un-rack his bike for 7 laps around the F-1 racetrack (40KM). After he completes his portion, Stephan must make his way back to his original position in transition, re-rack his bike and THEN remove the chip and hand it over to the runner. Only then may Stephan remove his helmet. Our new runner is Ruedger Darsow. An anestheologist at Mafraq Hospital, he will has been waiting at transition.
After attaching the chip to his ankle he begins 2 laps of the drag race course adjacent to the F-1 track, the length is 10 KM.
5th place of 19 Olympic distance relay teams. Scott, Stephan and Ruedger - The Mafraq Hospital teammates. Their time for the entire event: 2:25:29 Scott's swim portion: 29:12 Stephan's cycle portion: 1:05:34 Ruedger's running portion 46:17.
The Simpson Family: Paula, Philip (on Spring Break from his university in Canterbury, England), Emily and Martin. Martin is a tri-athlete and has completed his race, hence, he is looking exhausted and was sucking down water! Emily was preparing to compete in the 15-17 year old Duathlon. She had to cycle 2 laps of the F-1 racecourse (11KM) and run 3KM, this was her first experience. Of course, we stayed to watch her complete her race; "Well Done" to Emily and Martin.
Tri competitors must be 18 y/o to swim and there was also a shorter distance duathlon for ages 11 to 14. Scott and I were most impressed by the number of young people involved in these 2 events. We were totally in awe of the father, who having completed his own triathlon, met his daughter at the running transition area and ran the 3KM with her.
Yas Triathlon is very different than the Abu Dhabi Triathlon. This is a family atmosphere (see above paragraph), whereas the A.D. Tri is a world class performers event - entrants from all over the globe. Yas Tri has a lovely atmosphere where we were astounded by the number of participants we knew and how many family members were there all day long to support and encourage.
It was fun.
Love to all
Scott and Christine

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