Imagine more than 1,500 athletes from the region and beyond pushing themselves to the limit in a swimming, cycling and running challenge. We’re talking athletes of all abilities and ages who have signed up to challenge themselves.
This year, TriYAS by Daman’s ActiveLife, taking place on Friday February 16, in Abu Dhabi, is open to even more members of the community, with a series of new, shorter courses aimed at first-timers, younger contenders and short-distance speedsters.
“TriYAS is a community event that brings people of all ages, fitness levels and nationalities together with the goal of improving their overall health and, importantly, to have fun. This year, with the inclusion of Super Sports Triathlon Championship, we’ve added more distances to make participating even more accessible,” Yas Marina Circuit CEO Al Tareq Al Ameri tells us.
And boy does it make it more accessible. The Super Sports Triathlon Championship – which is part of a four-race series – will offer three categories: T1, which involves a 100m swim, 3km bike ride and a 1km run. T2 includes a 200m swim, 6km cycle and a 2km run and T3 sees a 300m swim, 9km bike race and 3km run. TriYAS will be the finale of the Super Sports Triathlon Championship season, with the top 20 male and ten female participants competing.
“The KidsTRI, which we know is what parents are mainly interested in, is back for a third year this year, and will involves fun for the entire family,” Yas Community Manager Abdulla Al Shammari says. “In addition to the triathlon action, away from Yas Marina Circuit there will be a real festival feel to the Entertainment Village. TriYAS 2018 will see live acoustic performances, kids’ activity zones and cool food and beverage options. The village will also feature social media walls so supporters can digitally interact with the action, plus a range of retail options and sponsor-led activities to enjoy.”
The TriYAS organisers have also added some extra entertainment to cater to athletes’ families and friends who come to support them. The uniqueness of the event lies in the fact that it offers numerous spectator viewing points, allowing family members and other supporters to get close to all the action and cheer on their favourites to win.
It all started back in 2011, Al Shammari explains, one year after Yas Marina Circuit was first opened up to the community with the purpose of getting Abu Dhabi active through walking, running and cycling at the weekly TrainYAS programme. “Our goal was to position Yas Marina Circuit as Abu Dhabi’s venue for health and fitness. To increase participation and keep people motivated, we needed set a community goal, so TriYAS was introduced in 2015.”
The TriYAS team also added the KidsTRI event to ensure that all members of the family could take part and get active. With a reasonable course strength aimed at youngsters aged nine to 16 to test themselves over a 100m swim, 6km cycle and 1.5km run, it’s no wonder they had 100 kids competing in the first edition.
“The numbers of youngsters taking part along with first-timers and amateur athletes has grown each year,” Al Ameri says. “Our ultimate aim is to help members of the community get into the best shape possible and promote the importance of leading an active and healthy lifestyle.”
A growing number of interested youngsters is what TriYAS organisers always look for. Al Shammari is keen on instilling a love of exercise and fitness in younger members of the community.
“A triathlon is about determination, digging deep within yourself and never giving up; it’s all about taking that next step and pushing through. These are important life lessons that will stay with kids well into adult life and hopefully have a long-term positive effect.”
Sign your yourself (and your brood) up now…
Free. Fri Feb 16, from noon. Registration closes Thu Feb 15. Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, www.yasmarinacircuit.com.