x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

New York calling Hall after Liverpool glory

The triathlete is on course for her tilt at two world championship events later this year after winning her age category in an Olympic distance preparation race.

DUBAI // Triathlete Julie Hall is on course for her tilt at two world championship events later this year after winning her age category in an Olympic distance preparation race in the UK. Hall completed the Liverpool Triathlon in 2hr 34 min earlier this month but says she has only just recovered from a cold she picked up in the waters of the city's docks. "I'm very pleased with the event," said the fitness instructor, yesterday. "I was nervous because they started me in the first wave of elite competitors which is an honour but put extra pressure on, but I was delighted to be fifth overall and first in my age category."

Used to the warm waters of the Arabian Gulf, Hall, 39, who was supported by her family in Liverpool, found the chill of England tough to contend with especially after the delays which saw the elite competitors spend 10 minutes treading water at the start. "It was freezing," she said, adding that the 1.5km swim, 40km cycle and 10km run were a touch on the short side compared to her usual ironman distance. "I thought I was just being soft because I'm not used to the cold any more, but everyone had chattering teeth. I got quite worried because I was going numb and was concerned I wouldn't be able to move my arms."

Her fears proved unfounded and Hall - who will contest October's Long Course Triathlon World Championship in Perth, Australia and the World Championship 70.3 Half Ironman in Clearwater, Florida in November - said her strong performance will act as a major confidence boost. She next contests the New York Triathlon in three weeks when she will take a group of her fitness clients to compete, followed immediately by Ironman UK in Bolton a week later.

stregoning@thenational.ae