x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Heat biggest challenge for competitors at Abu Dhabi International Triathlon

Organisers have been at pains to stress the danger of dehydration and the opposite effect of taking on too much fluid over the race, which for the elite athletes will be 223 kilometres.

ABU DHABI // Rising temperatures over the past 48 hours could increase the health risk for the 1,500 competitors of various levels of fitness taking part in the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon.

Organisers have been at pains to stress the danger of dehydration and the opposite effect of taking on too much fluid over the race, which for the elite athletes will be 223 kilometres.

Depending on the weather conditions tomorrow morning, the triathletes from 50 different nations will be told to limit their liquid intake to somewhere between 750ml and a litre per hour.

Protection from the sun will be available from any of the 12 aid stations that are situated along the route from the Emirates Palace hotel to the Yas Marina Formula One circuit and back again.

Competitors are at their most vulnerable at the start of their long day when they enter the Marina waters at Emirates Palace for a three-kilometre swim.

The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority organising committee will have a team of qualified swim safety personnel on duty to look out for those in difficulty.

They have advised swimmers to lie on their backs and raise their arms to signal if they need to be rescued.

The dangers on the bike ride come from the sheer length of the time in the saddle.

Riders in the elite categories will have to cover 200km, part of which is round the Formula One track, and five aid stations are in place along the route that will be closed to motorists for the duration of the race.