Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Bekky Britain catches her breath with her two children after comnpetiting in the Roy Nasr Memorial Triathlon at Jebel Ali Golf Resort. Duncan Chard for the National
Bekky Britain catches her breath with her two children after comnpetiting in the Roy Nasr Memorial Triathlon at Jebel Ali Golf Resort. Duncan Chard for the National

Race in memory of triathlete Roy Nasr

More than 350 athletes and 14 teams took part in the Roy Nasr Memorial Sprint and Super-Sprint event in Dubai yesterday, to memorialise the champion athlete who was killed by a drunk driver while on a training ride.

DUBAI // Competitors had more than the finish line on their minds at a memorial triathlon on Saturday.

More than 350 athletes and 14 teams took part in the Roy Nasr Memorial Sprint and Super-Sprint event at the JA Jebel Ali Hotel and Golf Resort in memory of the champion triathlete who died last month on a training ride in Dubai.

Organised by Race ME Events, it marked the first official event of the 2013-14 season.

To hotel guests and onlookers the triathlon resembled any ordinary weekly competitive race. But as fellow triathletes, colleagues, family and friends swapped stories about Nasr, it was apparent the event was a poignant celebration of an inspirational man, cherished by many.

A moving speech given by Ian Le Pelley, Nasr’s close friend, recalled a man who was not only a dedicated athlete and thoughtful friend, but also a devoted husband and father.

An army of volunteers lined every inch of the swim, cycle and running course, and included Nasr’s wife, Tina, who manned a busy registration desk.

People from all backgrounds lined the water as three waves prepared for the start.

An emotional briefing given by Le Pelley reminded competitors to run with Nasr in mind.

“When it gets tough, let him inspire you,” he said. “In the water, on the bike or treading the run, keep a great man in mind along the way.”

It brought together people from the ever-growing UAE triathlon community as well as many from other sports clubs across the country.

Oliver Godart took first place in the sprint with a time of 1 hour 1 minute 11 seconds; Kirsten Baillie won the women’s division in 1hr 15mins 40secs. The winner of the Super Sprint category was Sam O’Shea with a time of 36mins 4secs.

Nasr, 49, was killed by a motorist while riding his bike near Safa Park in the early hours of September 6. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter, Tala, and son, Elie.

Traffic prosecutors charged W J, a 24-year-old Filipino, with drinking alcohol and driving under the influence of alcohol and on September 30 he was sentenced to one month in jail and ordered to pay Dh200,000 in blood money to Nasr’s family.

This week, Dubai prosecutors announced they are appealing the ruling on the grounds the punishment was too lenient.

Nasr, who was Lebanese, was a former Arab triathlon champion and finished third at the 2011 World Triathlon Championships in Beijing.

“Despite his enormous sporting accomplishments, Roy was not a man of bravado or swagger,” said Le Pelley. “He was a gentle, humble, kind and considerate person who carried himself with calm confidence and grace. He delighted in other peoples’ successes as if they were his own.

“He inspired hundreds not only to be better sportsmen and sportswomen, but also to be better people. He had a ready smile for everyone, and had the ability to make people feel secure and happy as soon as they met him. He was dearly loved by many people.”

The first wave of swimmers left the shore at 7am followed by wave two at 7.15am, both taking part in the Sprint category – 750 metre swim, 20 kilometre bike and 5km run. The Super Sprint competitors made up wave three and embarked on the 375 metre swim, 10km bike and 2.5km run.

The event was expertly organised “just as Nasr would have liked” said many who knew him.

Spirits were high and all levels of athletes were included and made to feel welcome.


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Shah Rukh Khan performs at the IPL Gala dinner to open IPL VII at the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi.

In pictures: Shah Rukh Khan stars at IPL Gala dinner in Abu Dhabi

The superstar entertainer Shah Rukh Khan on stage last night at a gala dinner to launch the Indian Premier League cricket tournament.

No words can describe this April 17, your captions will

Have a catchy caption for this picture. Share it with us and we might publish it and reward you.

 The year-long project aims to create a form of social autobiography — the story of Dubai documented by those who know it best, the people who live there.

Zoom in! This is your Dubai in a single image

On our sixth birthday, we are all about pictures. So here is our #mydubai offering. Using zoom.it, explore the city.

 This Dh17,000 Miele system can prepare your choice of coffee - from capuccino to espresso - at a touch of a button. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Miele puts art in coffee making

Miele has devoted itself to the art of preparing the black liquid with its beautifully designed coffee machines, living up to its mantra of turning kitchens into cafés.

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 Amir Khan, during a workout at the Gloves Community Centre on March 24, 2014 in Bolton, England, says his fight will be the real main event in Las Vegas on May 3. Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Amir Khan says bout with Luis Collazo ‘will steal the show’ in Las Vegas on May 3

British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan says his fight with Luis Collazo will be the main attraction on same fight card led by Floyd Mayweather Jr and Marcos Maidana, writes Omar Al Raisi.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National