Podium place for Ali in Abu Dhabi Triathlon
ALI Robinson got his competitive season under way with an age group podium place at the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon.
In 2013, Ali, of Dockray, has his sights set on earning an elite triathlon licence which will allow him to compete professionally.
The 29-year-old travelled from his winter training base in Spain to line up in Abu Dhabi for an event which comprised a 3km swim, 200km individual bike leg and 20km run.
Ali spent several days acclimatising to the 30-degree temperatures and high humidity before heading to the start line along with more than 2,000 athletes from all over the world.
Entered in the 25-29 years age group, Ali performed well above expectation in the swim with a time of 50 minutes which placed him just outside the top 50.
“In the defining leg of the race, a 200km bike leg consisting of multiple laps of the desert highway and Yas Marina Formula One race circuit, I set the second fastest time split at just over five hours, moving myself into second place overall,” he said. “The difficult conditions, with temperatures up to 33 degrees and strong winds took its toll on all athletes. I followed this up with a solid but not sparkling 1hr 34min half-marathon time, slipping down the placings to third in my age category, 11th in all age categories and fastest British competitor. It also gave me 23rd fastest time of the day (7.40.24) and this included the professional elite field which had been run off as a separate event, starting 40 minutes earlier.
“A podium finish in my age group, along with setting a faster time than a number of current elite triathletes, will hopefully earn me my own elite licence in the near future. My focus now turns to a number of European events along with hopefully securing equipment and financial sponsorship to help fund my racing over the coming year.
Anybody who would like to sponsor Ali should contact him on 017684 82082 or by e-mail on alidpr_dockrayhotmail.com.
l GB Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee was also in action at Abu Dhabi over a shorter triathlon distance. He won that competition and set a new course record.