Abu Dhabi International Tri, surfskis and death wishes

Big bike miles for Abu Dhabi – in a boat

Abu Dhabi International Triathlon 2011 logo

I’m heading east in March for the Abu Dhabi International Tri (12 March) as a guest of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Board. There are several distance options and as a media invite, I thought I’d show my appreciation and do the long event. There’s bound to be more to write about, at least that’s the theory!

It starts with a 3km swim, then a 200km bike and a very short 20km run at the end.

Let’s compare that with an Olympic distance triathlon:

3km swim (two Olympic distance swims. Olympic is 1,500m)

200km bike (five times longer. Olympic is 40km)

20km (double the distance. Olympic is 10km)

Guess what? The bike distance did catch my eye. I’m starting to crank up some long steady miles (a little too late for major distance in the legs but I have muscle memory from nearly 10 years of road cycling in my thirties).

Now you’d think I’d use every available second to swim, bike and run – but no… you can’t abandon your other multisport disciplines! Paddling is my Achilles Heel and the adventure must continue. This Saturday morning was dedicated to a 25km surfski paddle in pumping wind conditions from Vetch’s Pier to Umdloti – nothing like the fear of a pitching sea to make you feel really alive! There were four of us and all of us fell out at some stage. When the wind is driving you, you have to get under the ski pronto or else it starts running you over. You mount on the upwind side.

My paddling buddy’s son, an ex narcotics cop and an SA freestyle jetski kamikaze pilot, as tough as nails, refuses to paddle with his dad because he “doesn’t have a deathwish”.

Each to his own, I say!

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About Deon Braun

The founder of Go Multi and TRAIL magazines has a 100% dedication to health and fitness and communicating that to the tribe that resonates to it. Both publications are simply vehicles to get the good health message out there and make the immediate world a better and happier place. If it's an adventure under a big sky, chances are Deon's going to try it at some stage. He's cycled, paddled, run and swum since 1982 and believes that we should continue to improve our training and fitness skills no matter how the years advance. Sport standouts in his short life so far include winning the 2011 Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race, finishing despite bloodied feet at the 2011 Abu Dhabi International Triathlon after running barefoot over 60m of desert-baked paving, running the debut Dodo Ultra Trail Run in Mauritius, starting and finishing all the Otter African Trail Runs to date and surviving five days and six stages of the 2003 Eden Cycle Tour. Experiences on his Bucket List include climbing Kilimanjaro, running the Marathon des Sables, Jungle Ultra and riding the Cape Epic.
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