After departing Australia on late Sunday afternoon from Sydney, I landed at Abu Dhabi some 14 ½ hours later just before midnight. This is my second visit to commentate at this remarkable place and I must admit it is totally an amazing place in so many ways. The architecture itself is simply out of this world with palaces on every corner and so many high rises with each having their own special feature. Then you have this unique race that is in downtown central Abu Dhabi.
Once again, the cream of the world’s best athletes are in town and both the men’s and women’s professionals are stacked, with a staggering 16 World Champions, 76 Ironman wins, 47 European titles and 102 National titles between them. World class athletes indeed.
The course itself is also quite unique in regards to the distances with athletes completing a two lap 3km swim, 2 ½ lap 200km bike, where they actually ride on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix track for two hot laps and the two lap 20km run along the Corniche (waterfront) of Abu Dhabi. This course is a flat one indeed but especially on the bike as we saw last year, the wind can really blow up and cause some havoc to the riders as the ride through the desert to the Yas Marina Circuit before returning to Abu Dhabi to complete a lap.
If you are looking for a triathlon holiday I would certainly put it on the “must do“list. The place is amazing but the organisation of the race is very professional as well. When you are here there is a lot to do and see as well including Ferrari World Theme Park (home of the world’s fastest roller coaster) plus the mosque. The girls will love the shopping so pack the credit card boys.
Coming up the preview to the race and some fun times with Clayton Fettell and Mel Rollison as we headed out to the grand prix track for the filming of the tv show and interviews.