An inside story on our company experience in the Dubai International Triathlon 2015
Months and months of training leading up to this event were the most exciting, challenging, stressful, strenuous and I must say fun, where every team member gave his/her utmost best to train and get ready for this big event. Waking up at dawn most days of the week, giving up our weekend sleep-ins and Friday nights just to train, committing to a rigorous training plan and nutrition focused diet, meeting to train as a team in the early hours of the morning and saying the statement “No sorry, I have to train” was the attitude of the Fitness First athletes who decided to accept the challenge and participate in Dubai International Triathlon (DIT).
What better way to challenge our staff than to select this prestigious event with around 800 athletes joining from all over the world competing against us. The Dubai International Triathlon (DIT), with its second time round in Dubai, featured an exciting new venue and race course with a 1.9km swim, a 90km bike ride and a 21.1km run around Dubai International Endurance City.
The Start of the Story
A handpicked few of 50 employees by our COO, were challenged to participate in this triathlon coming from different departments with varying fitness levels. For some, they had already done it as pros and for others it was their first time. All accepted the challenge for different reasons, personal goals and records they wanted to achieve. For those who felt they weren’t ready for the full race yet, the team concept was a great option to choose the preferred discipline and participate as a team. This way each member experiences the same competitive atmosphere and shares the sense of achievement that this race offers.
Once the challenge and commitment was accepted there was no looking back, no giving up, it was a goal everyone one of us wanted to achieve and complete. The support and motivation from the Fitness First team was a key driver in looking forward, believing in ourselves and just approaching the day with confidence. When all training was done, all we could do was wait for the moment to act and perform we were all just impatient, at the end feeling we need to do this.
What motivated you to participate ?
A question we asked all our athletes with most answering wanting to step out of their comfort zone, challenge themselves and to do something they never did before. Others wanted to overcome an injury and prove they can still do it and that anything is possible. Some wanted to train for a reason to reach their personal goals and achieve record results. For whatever the reason, there was the motivation to get these 50 Fitness First employees to do it.
Every member of the team was getting ready, the swimmers warming up, the cyclists checking on their bikes racked from last night and the runners showing up to see their teams off. It was all about mixed feelings of excitement, butterflies in your stomach, waves of nausea and a dry, prickly mouth but we managed to get some great pictures through all these race-day anxieties.
The swim leg started at Jumeirah Beach Residence next to Hilton Double Tree hotel, athletes then cycled through Dubai Marina towards Motor City to the purpose built Al Qudra cycle track before finishing at the Dubai International Endurance City where the runners completed three laps of a technical course.
Despite months of training, nobody was prepared for what happened during the race.
— Fitness First (@FitnessFirstME) November 14, 2015
A storm a few days prior to the event meant that athletes had to overcome tricky weather conditions which added to the challenge. The windy weather made the race particularly difficult with high waves during the swim, a bike course with a challenging head wind for most of the. The run course wasn’t all smooth but with uphill roads, sandy pebbly tracks and windy sandy conditions toughing the run course not to mention the midday sun and heat being the final discipline.
All athletes were pushed to their physical and mental limits.
The Swim 1.9 KM
It was an amazing site to watch all the swimmers get prepared and jump in to start the swim leg.
The mental preparation at the race moment was the most important thing.
The drive to succeed and push ourselves to the limit was key in achieving the results we aimed for.
The Bike 90 KM
The cyclists arriving at the Dubai International Endurance City village after a strenuous 90 KM bike ride.
Still looking good after this long ride with a smile on our face
Getting off the bike happy to have completed the course
Bikes all racked up after the bike course
The Run 21.1 KM
Setting off on the run course
Running with no shoes just to get started…this is the Fitness First attitude
Waving to the crowd is always a positive attitude
The mental race was harder than the physical race and this is what many confessed going through. There were thoughts and feelings of demotivation, defeat and the mind giving up before the body. The fight is to get past these thoughts and convince your brain that your body can do it.
One of the swimmers was overwhelmed with the adrenaline which gave him a slow start and taken in by the rush of all the swimmers felt drained then he told himself it’s now or never, I need to do this for the team and fought his way through the waves and managed to complete his part.
What made this all worth it was the final moment of reaching the finish line and getting that medal over your head with your hands up in the air saying…I did it!
The moment you put that medal in between your teeth and smile
It’s all about teamwork and the team enjoying the final moments winning together
All of us are winners and finishers of this great race but a few deserve some extra bit of recognition.
Lisa Hancox for First Place in her category Females 35-39 with a total time of 5:29:37 hrs
NoPro Team for second place in the Mixed Teams with a total time of 4:32:51 hrs
For the Male 35-39 category we have two exceptional performers who did the full distance
Gareth Hall with a total time of 5:12:07 ranking 12 out of 80
Dennis Bierman with a total time of 6:25:00 ranking 57 out of 80
The Final Shot
Now we can proudly say WE ARE the Fittest Company in the Middle East! #FittestCompanyME
Digital Content Manager
Fitness First Middle East