Abu Dhabi's world-class Yas Marina Formula One Grand Prix circuit was recently packed by crowded onlookers, this time cheering on the world's best racing machines in the Tri Yas 2012, which took place in April.
Although 2012 is just the second year the triathlon has been running (and swimming and biking), it has attracted high-profile triathletes including Luxembourg's Olivier Godart and Australia's Connie Bourverot, both of whom set new individual Olympic-distance records this year in the Male and Female divisions respectively.
Hoping to build on last year's success, NYUAD entered two teams and an individual in the sprint-distance triathlon — a 750-meter swim, a 20-kilometer bike ride, and a 5-kilometer run — and one team in the Olympic-distance category, twice the distance of the sprint triathlon. Unlike last year, the triathlon was held during twilight hours.
With more than 332 combined team and individual entries in the sprint division, the University's two sprint teams, Lactic Acid Bath and TriRus, managed to complete the gauntlet in 1:38:36 and 1:44:02 respectively. And individual competitor Will Seonmin Heo (NYUAD '14) set a University record, finishing in 1:46:36. Competing against another 267 entrants and doing double the distance in less than twice the time, NYUAD's Olympic-distance team — the Three Masochists, featuring swimmer Sal Lavallo (NYUNY '13), biker Kelly Dougherty (NYUAD '14), and runner Vivek Mukherjee (NYUAD '14) — finished in an impressive 3:01:50.
For freshman Olivia Bergen, swimmer for sprint team Lactic Acid Bath, "It was really satisfying to see the swim training I've done come to fruition during the event." She and her teammates, runner Corey Meyer (NYUAD '15) and cyclist Jordan Schulze (NYUAD '14), are "excited for future triathlons," and Bergen one day hopes to "go further," improving her time.
All in all, the students involved achieved fantastic results while mixing with the burgeoning athletic community of Abu Dhabi at large.