On a typical day you wouldn’t normally see more than 250 people gathered together at a school, a little past 6.00am on a weekend morning. But this was the GEMS Triathlon, where ‘athletes’ of all ages and abilities come together to compete in the most engaging event in the GEMS Sport Series calendar!
Organised by UAE’s leading sports services provider – ESM (East Sports Management) and powered by Technical Partner, Hopasports, and hosted by GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail, the GEMS Triathlon followed a sprint course format, for a much more spectator friendly triathlon when compared to other events in the region. Participants swam 400m in the pool, cycled a short course (distance depended on age), and finally put on their running shoes to race to the finish line in front of hundreds of cheering supporters.
In its fourth year, the popular GEMS Triathlon, saw participants from the ages of five through to 65+ take part, including everyone from first timers through to regular runners.
With multiple awards handed out to the winners of the categories, nobody went home empty handed, with all participants crossing the finish line receiving a GEMS Triathlon medal, whilst age category winners received trophies. In total, over 300+ medals and 45 winners trophies were awarded to participants.
“I really enjoyed taking part in the run; this was my first time and I would definitely love to do it again. I am trying to bring this active lifestyle into our household and this was a very good beginning,” said Shilpa, a mother who ran along with her husband and their two children. Sergei, a GEMS parent who came to support his son, commented: “The staff and parents from GEMS are so welcoming, and it is amazing how many people have come out to support this race. It makes it a unique experience to compete in such an event.”
And it all took place in an atmosphere of fun and sportsmanship too, with one competitor heard to say at the end of the race: “If it wasn’t for cycling, world domination would be within my grasp!”
James Bowring, Managing Director at ESM, said: “The number of participants is great to see, especially as so many are running together in teams of all ages. For the past four years, we have witnessed how this event has grown into one of the key active family and community events in Dubai. The ESM and Hopasports teams work night and day to deliver this event each year and we are delighted to see how much everyone enjoys it.”