The Dubai Desert Triathlon has generated huge interest in the triathlon and horse riding communities, and a late rush on entries has seen the start list swell from 120 to 210 teams, organisers announced.
The newest sporting event in Dubai is a world first, and given the overwhelmingly positive response it is anticipated that the event will become of the most popular on Dubai’s sporting calendar.
The event, which will take place on Saturday 19 April, is the result of a partnership between Dubai Sports Council and Meydan, and will bring together the heritage Emirati sport of endurance horse racing with the triathlon disciplines of running and cycling.
The runners will start at 6am in a mass start and after completing a 5km desert trail run will transition to the cycling leg of 25km on the Dubai Cycle Path. The next transition will see the endurance horse riders leave on a 40km ride, before what promises to be an exciting finish in front of the cheering crowds.
Athletes have been invited to enter in any or all of the disciplines, although to participate in the riding they must be a licensed endurance horse rider. Athletes who have entered in one or two of the disciplines have been linked with other entrants to form teams.
One of the UAE’s top triathletes, Olivier Godart, who recently won the 2014 TriYASby Activelifeand Nissan Triathlon at Atlantis, has entered the cycling and running legs of the event.
“I am very excited to be taking part in this event, it’s never been done before and the new format interests me. It sits nicely with the local angle, riding is so important to the Emiratis and it’s going to be great to participate in this event which is bringing triathlon and horse riding together.
“It’s something really different and I congratulate the organisers on coming up with this idea”.
Organisers are inviting the public to come and watch this historic event, and be part of the excitement. A triathlon village will be set up close to the transition and finish area so spectators can catch all the action as the teams battle it out for honours. Spectators will have plenty to occupy them with catering and entertainment from 7am til noon including a circus workshop for the children, face painting and balloon art, and entertainment on the lawns by jugglers, stilt walkers, acrobats and unicyclists. A delicious Bab Al Shams breakfast buffet will be available for only 50dhs in the Dubai International Endurance City Centre.
“We are delighted with the response we have had from the sporting community, and are excited to see this inaugural event take shape. Being part of history in the making is exciting for all involved and we encourage people to come out to see this amazing event on Saturday” said Nasser Al Rahmah, Director of Sports Events Department at Dubai Sports Council.
“This event has clearly tapped into huge interest in both triathlon and endurance riding and we are delighted to be bringing these great sports together in this innovative event” he added.
Athletes will be competing for honours in the categories of fastest overall individual triathlete, fastest team, fastest cyclist, fastest runner and best conditioned horse in the male, female and junior sections. Dubai International Endurance City (DIEC) is located a 40 minute drive from Dubai next to Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa.
The Dubai Desert Triathlon is held under the patronage of H.H Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council.
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