The triathlon in the UAE’s capital is not an easy one. The weather conditions and the long distance early in the season smashed already some well-known names in the scene. All 3 editions of the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon saw some great athletes. In 2012 the favourites for example were Chris Lieto, Dirk Bockel and Rasmus Henning and of course the team athletes. All of them wanted to take the prize money.
So the race was started at a sunny and a little windy day. The first one who came out of the water was the Australian Clayton Fettell. A big group chased him. Faris, Paul Ambrose and Jeremy Jurkiewicz were part of that. On the bike Paul and Faris were the only ones who could get away from that pack. Paul joined Fettell in the lead and Faris rode his own race just seconds behind them. That was the way they entered the transition area. At that time the group were aleready 4 minutes behind. Faris had a quick change and took the lead on the run. He could keep it until 2 km to go. That was the moment the Danish Rasmus Henning passed him. He had saved some energy riding in the group. Anyway Faris had a great day and finished second behind Henning and in front of the Spanish Eneko Llanos. Paul got 7th after a perfect ride and a hard run and Jeremy became 12th.
“Of course it is tough to be overtaken just before the finish line. Especially if you do the race by yourself and behind you is a group. You are able to save a lot of energy hiding somewhere. I knew that I am in shape and I am pretty happy with my performance,” said Faris at the finish line.
The women’s race was also exciting. Beside the Australian Rollinson who dominated the middle distance triathon in 2011 the favourites were the strong Swiss athlete Caroline Steffen and Jodie Swallow. She showed her great form already in the water. It took 85 km on the bike until Jodie saw some of her opponents. Steffen, the Australian Butterfield and the Canadian Naeth closed the distance to the leading woman.
In the end Butterfield was the first one entering the second transition area. With a great run she could win the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon for the first time followed by Angela Naeth and Caroline Steffen. Jodie Swallow celebrated her debut as member of team on the 6th place. All in all it was a great result for the entire team.