The UAE are no strangers to holding aquathlon events with many community races held throughout the year.
And given its popularity in the country, the multi-discipline sport, which features swimming and running, continues to attract athletes of different ages and abilities.
Organiser Race ME has set three different distances: Super Sprint, Sprint and Olympic for different age groups.
Super Sprint, ideal for those who are new to the sport, consists of a 500m swim and 3.66km run and is open for 10 and above, while the Sprint (1,000m swim and 6.66km run) is for ages 15 and over.
For those who want to test themselves, the Olympic for ages 18 and above is a 1,500m swim before running 10km to the finish line.
With the series now in its third year, the event has gone from strength to strength. And Race ME’s Paul Venn insists this weekend’s aquathlon will be another success.
“We held our first one of the season just earlier this month and it went really well indeed,” he said. “We had a wide range of people turn up; some who’ve never done the sport and some who were on holiday in Dubai and that is very encouraging.
“We had around 75 people in the opening race and we expect that number to increase to possibly 100 on Saturday April 16.”
He added: “One of the new things that people will notice is that we’ve increased the distances. The swim has been extended by 500m and so has the run. That is to do with feedback from the participants.
“In the UAE, people prefer to do things long. The Olympic distance is the most popular distance out of all and is very common.”
With the UAE hosting many events, Venn ranks this aquathlon race as among the best.
“I think in terms of atmosphere and difficulty level, it’s one of the best races in the country,” he said. “I’m not just saying that because I’m from the organising committee. My daughter is 11 years old and took part and she loved it. That is proof it really is for the whole family.
“What’s more, it’s in a fantastic location and breakfast is included in the entry price. It’s a perfect start to the morning.”
What: Ashurst Aquathlon Race Two
Where: Jebel Ali Golf Resort, Dubai
When: Saturday, April 16, from 06:30
Contact: For more information and to register, visit www.premieronline.com
The prestigious Hamdan Bin Mohammed International Football Championship kicks off on Friday and will provide audiences with a chance to see the stars of tomorrow strutting their stuff.
Young talents from some of the world’s best clubs will be playing at the Under-17 tournament, including Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, which runs for 10 days and concludes on April 17.
The sixth staging of the tournament begins with Friday’s opening ceremony at Dubai Police Officers Club – which will be attended by Argentina legend Diego Maradona.
Two games kick off the tournament with German giants Dortmund taking on the UAE’s Al Wasl at 16:45, while Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal will take on another UAE side, Hatta, later that evening. Saturday sees Spanish supremos Madrid in action against local side Al Ahli while Brazil’s Internacional face Dubai’s Al Nasr.
With four local sides pitting their wits against some of the great names of the game, tournament director Ahmad Salin believes the UAE clubs’ youngsters have a fantastic chance to develop their own skills.
“I think this is a very good opportunity for our players, managers and coaches to participate in this tournament to gain experience and play against the best teams in the world,” said Salin. “It is very good for the national team and the clubs to prepare them, because 17 is a very important age for any player.
“It’s the age when you see whether they will grow and develop or not into a better player. It’s also a good opportunity for the audience and for all people who like football to see the best young talents of the world. A lot of famous players have played in this championship.
“We have invited the best teams in Europe and from around the world, including Asia and the Dubai clubs.”
Apart from the joy of seeing the next generation in action, Salin said the opening ceremony will provide entertainment even for non-football fans.
“Diego Maradona will be there at the opening ceremony and there will be lots of gifts and raffles on offer for the audience, like televisions and phones, as well as coupons for Skydive Dubai who are one of the event sponsors. There’s a lot on offer for the audience,” he said.
The tournament gets underway with the opening ceremony taking place at 16:00 followed by two matches. It will conclude on April 17 with the third and fourth-place play-off and the final.
VENUE: Dubai Police Officers Club
WHAT: Hamdan Bin Mohammed International Football Championship
WHEN: April 8-17
VERDICT: If you’re a fan of football at any level, get yourself down to the 10-day tournament to see some of the upcoming teenage stars from the world’s most famous clubs, as well as a fair sprinkling of Emirati talent from the UAE clubs.
CONTACT: Visit www. dubaisportscouncil.ae
The Giant Duathlon Series comes down to a sixth and final race with double points on offer to competitors.
Hamdan Sports Complex will once again be the starting point for the popular event, which will be held on Friday, April 15 in a run/bike/run format.
Various distances are on offer, which should be good news for athletes of all ages, skill level and experience.
One can even choose to go through the course solo or be supported as part of a team. The youngest of youngsters, aged up to six years old, can get a taste by running 200 metres, then cycling 1,500m and finishing with a 200m run.
Kids up to age 12 can strive for the quarter distance, which will be a 750m run, followed by a six-kilometre bike ride and then a 750m run again.
The ‘Tweens and Teens’ – ages 10 to 14 – features a 12km cycle between two 1.5km runs.
The adult categories, open to all ages 15 and above, have two options depending on how much you want to test yourself.
The full distance is a 3km run, a 24km bike ride and a 3km run, while the 1.5x full distance is a step up with a challenging 4.5km run, 36km cycle and 4.5km run.
For those that take part in teams of two, can form an all-male, or allfemale or mixed pair to tackle the full distance.
Double points come into play if one chooses to do the 1.5x full distance, and with this the final race of the series, those points could be the difference in winning a trophy.
Trophies will be given to first, second and third-place finishers in each age group and team category.
Each athlete’s four best performances throughout the series will be counted in the final points tally.
Register for the race through www.premieronline.com and make sure to sign up before the deadline of Thursday, April 14. Included in the entry is a medal, goody bag and refreshments.
Race packs can be collected on the day from 5:45, with the races set to start at 06:30.
This is the final chance for all runners, cyclists, duathletes and triathletes to show their abilities and earn glory as the Giant Duathlon Series comes to a close.
What: Giant Duathlon Series Race Six
Where: Hamdan Sports Complex
When: Friday, April 15. Registration closing on Thursday, April 14
Contact: Visit www.premieronline.com to sign up and www.race-meevents.com for more information.