Dubai Ironman 70.3, March 5th, 2022 (L)
Race Reporters: Jérôme
Having my dad working in Dubai for a few years, I thought it would be a good opportunity to have an exotic race in the sun in the middle of winter ! So I signed up for the race just 2 month before (the race is sold out very quickly so you need to set your mind fast).
First challenge for me was to travel by plane with my bike ! Thanks to Tobias who lent me his bike case and all the advice from our tech experts Luis & Roger, I managed to disassemble the bike, get it in the case and reassemble my bike with unexpected success once in Dubai !
Race is on Saturday, on Wednesday I’m on site to retrieve my dossard and discover the bike park. The beach is huge with a great view on the luxury Burj al Arab hotel. I comeback on site on Friday to drop the bike and the bike & run gear bags. Pressure in increasing !
Very early wake up at 4:30 am. Not really hungry but I forced myself to have a breakfast to get the energy needed for the race. I go to the race location with a taxi (Dubai luxuous lifestyle J). Official start is given at 7:10 am. 10 minutes after the pro athletes. Around twenty minutes later (it’s a rolling start), I get in the water and the race is on ! Water is nice, almost 24 degrees and very clear. Like most athletes, I choose to use my wet suit. I try to swim a little bit to the side of the course to avoid other competitors. This is rather a succes as I didn’t get hit once by another swimmer. Feeling is good and I managed to find a good rythm. The swim course is a simple rectangle. On the way back to the beach, I get blinded by the rising sun but luckily I spot a big mast just behind the arrival to guide me. At the end, not more than 1900m in roughly 35 minutes so very happy with the swim !
Fairly quick transition (although I left my socks in the wrong bag ;-)) and I’m on the bike ! The course is a simple round trip toward the desert using the huge roads of the UAE. The left lane is dedicated to us. The course is fairly flat but with the wind the first part is not that easy and I struggled to be above 30 Km/h average. The view of camels and arabian oryx along the road is very out of the ordinary. Happily the second part turned out to be much easier with the tail wind and the favorable light slope. I managed to cruise around 40 kph with not so much effort. I’m happy I brought the extension tube as they are really useful. I finish the bike part in less than 3 hours so very happy about my performance.
And after T2, I’m now running along the beach. The course is composed of 2 loops, the second loop being shorter than the first one. I find this is a great idea as I really dislike doing several identical loops while running ! After 3 or 4 km, the race gets difficult for me. I’ve never been a good runner but the heat (30°) and the sun are making it even more difficult. We are being given some sponges with cold water which are very appreciated. First loop is done and I need to find mental ressources to finish the last 7 km. I manage to keep running until km 20, then I walk a little bit to catch my breath and make sure I can proudly cross the finish line, in front of my parents who came to see me ! Total run time is 2h20, I’ll do better next time !
Finally very happy to have completed this race, which is a real challenge in itself but also in terms of organisation to be on the start line.