A borrowed Dutch shopping bike (basket removed, which I thought was a shame) wasn’t the most impressive way to debut in triathlons, but faithful Bess, as she was called, got me up and down the Saadiyat Island bridge in the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon some years back.

But it hurt, it hurt a lot.

I can honestly say that the next year, on a much more appropriate Canondale steed, that damn climb didn’t seem any easier, and if there was one thing I wasn’t looking forward to at this year’s rebranded ITU World Triathlon in Abu Dhabi on March 7, it was hauling my out-of-shape, 42-year-old, large posterior up that hill again.

But huzzah, the course has changed and now the bike course will not see cyclists tackling Saadiyat.

Great, though I’ll be doing my first Olympic distance so just the 1.5km swim and the 10km run to worry about, now that I know the 40km bike stage will be a doddle (he said choking).

If you haven’t registered yet there are still places up for grabs on the official event website. The race features three course options: Sprint (0.5km swim, 20km cycle, 5km run), Olympic (1.5km swim, 40km cycle, 10km run) and Maxi (2km swim, 80km cycle, 20km run). All course options can also be run with friends or family as a team relay.

1401928_ITU - Overview Maps_3 (Age Group)

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