Charismatic Arab triathlete, Omar Nour, has made Abu Dhabi his winter training home as he readies for the region’s pinnacle of triathlon events – the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon which will be raced March 15.
The 34-year-old professional triathlete says his move to the UAE capital is delivering huge training benefits.
“People just don’t realise that Abu Dhabi’s got so much to offer athletes, especially during the winter months when the weather here is great," Nour said.
"I have been here for over three months now and I am still discovering great locations where you can swim, bike and run in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. This emirate is the perfect winter training destination.”
The region’s biggest triathlon advocate, Nour is determined to make it to the top of the podium and create an impact in the sports community and encourage more people to take up triathlon in the UAE.
When he’s not training, the Egyptian triathlete spends his time giving motivational talks at schools encouraging the UAE’s youth to get active and stay healthy.
“I’m constantly inspired by our next generation of young talent and I want to contribute to shaping the future of triathlon and sports in Abu Dhabi," Nour explained. "There’s certainly a huge appetite for competitive sports and triathlon in particular and I would like to share my passion with the UAE’s communities and encourage participation in events such as the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon.
“Sport is not only about winning but it is also about the impact you make, the legacy you create and the people you inspire.
"Growing up, I was amazed with Hakeem Olajuwon of the Houston Rockets. He played in the NBA finals while fasting during Ramadan. It showed me that anything is possible.
"Many such fantastic athletes have left behind an outstanding legacy that until today continues to motivate and inspire people around the world. And that’s the direction I’m heading and I’m keen to take as many people as I can with me on this journey!”
Raised in Switzerland and educated in the US, Nour’s ambitions after leaving university were centred on the world of business rather than competitive sport. He went on to start up no less than five companies and soon found himself stuck in the corporate grind and an uphill battle to get fit and that’s when he caught the triathlon bug.
“My philosophy is it’s never too late to take the first step towards a healthier life. I was once over a 100kgs, barely did any exercise and all I ate was junk food. Fast forward five years and I have a lot to be grateful for. I feel fit, I feel good and I am ready to tackle the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon for the second year.”
Nour says he’s excited by challenging this year’s top elite field with triathletes like defending champion, Frederick Van Lierde and Olympic gold medallist, Alistair Brownlee, returning to the capital for the fifth annual race.
“This is definitely one of the most glamorous triathlons in the world and I am looking forward to rubbing shoulders with the world’s best.
“I love how this is a fun event that is accessible to everyone. Whether you are young, old, fit or not there is a place for you in this race. Even if you are not a participant I encourage you to come down and see the race in action and you are bound to catch the triathlon bug.”
The Abu Dhabi International Triathlon, organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA AbuDhabi) has three course distances; the 223km ‘long course’ (3km swim, a 200km cycle and 20km run), the half-length ‘short’ course (1.5km swim, a 100km cycle and a 10 km run) and the sprint course (750m swim, a 50km bike and 5km run).
Both the ‘short’ and the ‘sprint’ can be run as a team relay.
Organisers have frozen athlete registration fees for the fifth year in a row. Athletes interested in entering should visit www.abudhabitriathlon.com and, after clicking on the ENTER NOW link, simply follow the instructions.
Entry fees for the long and short distances are US$190 (AED 695) and US $130 (AED 475) respectively, while Sprint course rates are US$75 (AED 275) for individuals and US $120 (AED440) for a team. The fee for the team relay is US$280 (AED1,022).
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