Big bike miles for Abu Dhabi – in a boat
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!