Tri with Rio will allow competitors to take part in the event alongside Team Angel Wolf

Nick Watson, founder of the team, insists the focus this year is on collective community involvement

Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE February 13, 2020: With this year’s Daman Challenge TriYAS event just over one week away Nick Watson, founder of Team Angel Wolf, has been speaking about the importance of inclusion, inspiration and the enjoyment which comes with being involved in such a fantastic event at a unique and wonderful venue.

The 10th edition of what has become a hugely popular community event takes place at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi on Friday 21 February – and those triathletes who are yet to sign up are advised to do so now in order to ensure you don’t miss out on being involved in a fun and exciting challenge.

Watson is no stranger to the Daman Challenge TriYAS having completed no less than four of the previous events, although this time around there will be a slight twist, as he explains.

“This year it’s a bit different because they’ve set up a race just for me and my son, we’re going out at 1pm and having some of the community join us so I’m looking forward to it immensely,” says Watson. “Our mission for Team Angel Wolf is to always include the community so our focus is on anybody who can swim, bike or run, and they can do any part of the disciplines. Then on the run, we’ll stay at the slowest person’s pace and all run or walk together, but everyone will get the opportunity to push Rio.”

Nick’s son Rio suffers from Q44 Deletion De Novo, a condition which means he struggles to walk and can only communicate using sign language. Over the last few years the duo have won hearts and minds for competing together in some of the world’s most grueling races, including a challenge which saw them navigate seven triathlons in seven emirates over the course of seven days last year, including TriYAS.

“Rio is 16 now but had his first seizure from about six months so we knew life was going to be very different from then on,” explains Nick. “The goal was always to try and include Rio in everything we do. We started our first race in 2014, a middle-distance triathlon and, to be honest, we realised he loved it. He was 12 at the time and we were out there for more than seven hours. As a father and son we found something that clicked so we set up Team Angel Wolf as a non-profit organisation to spread awareness about people with determination, and hopefully at the same time we’re inspiring people to get healthy and active. It’s been a great journey.

“My daughter, who’s only 12, also races with Rio. She’s going to be competing solo at TriYAS but she normally does the same as me, which is swimming while pulling Rio in a kayak, cycling while pulling him in a pushchair and then she runs with him too. She inspires other kids and that’s always been the goal.”

As an experienced and accomplished triathlete, training hasn’t been too much of an issue for the Watson family: “We race every weekend but we’re always trying to do something different,” says Nick. “The focus, this year, isn’t so much on me racing with Rio, it’s on trying to get the community to join us and TriYas is perfect for that.

“If people want to just do the bike or the swim, that’s fine, if they want to do three disciplines that’s fine, and the focus is to enable people to experience what I do with Rio and see how much he enjoys it. Hopefully it might inspire people to do the full triathlon next year.”

For an additional fee, competitors at Daman Challenge TriYAS can embark on the challenge alongside Nick, Rio and everybody at Team Angel Wolf.
Having completed the event more times than most, Nick is well placed to offer first-time and inexperienced triathletes some words of wisdom: “Most people, by the time they get to the start line, will be well prepared, but if it’s your first one, enjoy every moment.

“Enjoy the venue, too. It’s not often anyone gets to swim in the Marina at Yas, cycle around the F1 track, which is just magical, and then do the run as well. Have a great day and enjoy it.”
Nick and Rio, meanwhile, will see you at the finish line.

“We all know people like stories and are inspired by each other, that’s the goal and they’ll be a part of that journey and create their own stories, which will hopefully gain momentum.
“I love the event, it’s one of the best on the calendar and I’m thoroughly looking forward to next weekend.

“Rio’s now done 215 races in five years and covered 6,235 kilometeres in that time, basically the same distance from Dubai to Northern Ireland, which is crazy.”
Register for the event now at