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UAE community displays commitment to healthy living as more than 1,400 adults and children take up the triathlon challenge.

The sixth edition of TriYAS by Daman’s ActiveLife has welcomed a record number of first-time participants, making up almost 30 per cent of entries into the 2016 race and providing a clear indication of the UAE’s dedication to health and fitness.

More than 1,400 athletes of different ages and nationalities took on the challenge of the combined run, cycle and swim across several categories of ability and distance, including an 18-strong ProField. The KidsTRI category has also grown this year, with 157 children signing up.

TriYAS by Daman’s ActiveLife has also increased its global profile, testified by the presence of nearly 100 international competitors who travelled especially to Abu Dhabi to compete.

The substantial level of interest in the endurance sport displays a growing passion within the UAE for living active lifestyles, organisers said today.

Dr. Michael Bitzer, Chief Executive Officer at Daman, the event sponsor, said: “We’re very pleased with the success of TriYAS by Daman’s ActiveLife. It was an unforgettable experience as everyone enjoyed competing at the iconic circuit and its beautiful marina. Families with children have also enjoyed the KidsTRI, which is one of the few quality sporting experience available for youngsters.

“Getting people to experience health and fitness sporting activities to entice them take up regular physical activity in their routines is one of the objectives Daman tries to achieve through our ActiveLife initiative. Through ActiveLife, we at Daman aim to mobilise the UAE community to lead a healthy, active lifestyle and TriYAS along with the upcoming The Color Run are a few of many examples of this.”

The UAE’s only day-to-night triathlon saw fantastic personal achievements across the board in a thrilling day for competitors and spectators alike as people gave their all on the demanding, but fun course. With an array of entertainment options on site, TriYAS 2016 offered something for all members of the family.

The winner of the ProFIELD category was Ruedi Wilde, a 33-year old from Switzerland, who completed the 1,500-metre swim, 38-kilometre bike race and 10-kilometre run in 1 hour 44 minutes and 50 seconds – a new course record that shaved six minutes off the previous best time.

Ben Parnell from the UK triumphed in the Sprint category, taking 1 hour 5 minutes and 46 seconds to complete the shorter course of a 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike course and 5-kilometre run.

The KidsTRI honours were taken by 15-year-old Lewis Whelan, from Ireland, who conquered the 200-metre swim, 10-kilometre cycle and a 1.5-kilometre run in 24 minutes and 32 seconds. Whelan beat more than 156 other athletes between the ages of 9-17 to finish first across the line.

Ahmed Rashid Al Marzooqi, a 16-year old Emirati from Abu Dhabi, took third place and has been competing in competitions for the last two years.

He said: “This is my first ever TriYAS, but I come to Yas Marina Circuit regularly to attend TrainYAS and StartYAS and one day it is my ambition to compete for first place in the Olympic category. Today’s race was very exciting and the swimming proved the most challenging aspect so I am very pleased to have finished third. I prefer running and cycling, but will train hard to improve my swimming performance.”

Al Tareq Al Ameri, CEO of Yas Marina Circuit, said: “Today has been a day of courage and personal achievement and we offer our heartfelt congratulations to everyone who has taken part across all categories.

“For many people, it has been the culmination of a long training regime to get into the best possible mental and physical shape to achieve their personal goals. Being able to witness their pride upon crossing the finish line brings everyone at Yas Marina Circuit huge collective satisfaction.

“We would like to extend a big thank you to our partners Daman ActiveLife, Etihad Airways and Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi, who form a large support network to enable everyone from first time triathletes to seasoned pros take part in such a fantastic event.”

Organisers said the event can provide participants with a springboard to seek even more fitness challenges. Daman’s weekly ActiveLife events at Yas Marina Circuit, such as TrainYAS and StartYAS, are perfect stepping stones on the journey to a more active life.

As part of the circuit’s ongoing ‘Big Data’ health audit initiative to benchmark the UAE’s activity habits, entrants to TriYAS had their BMI index and other data measured on site. The results showed an average BMI of 23.7, with 86 per cent of participants saying they were physically active three times or more per week, with 87 per cent describing intensity levels as moderate to high. The information collected will add to the existing knowledge base for use in future health planning strategies in the emirate.

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