Leon Griffin: Day Four From Abu Dhabi

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Australian professional triathlete Leon Griffin reports on his experiences from the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon.

Well folks, GO TIME is almost upon us for 2010’s most anticipated showdown and you could cut the tension in the air with a knife! The general consensus is that this race has the best field outside of Kona and I wouldn’t disagree. I’m absolutely stoked to be a part of it and test my early season form like everyone else.

Everyone is smiley and jovial on pre-race eve but its so rare for my mind to have so many of the sport’s big name contenders all housed at the same hotel, having to catch the same shuttles to swim practice and race site, and eat in the same restaurant all whilst readying to belt each other from pillar to post in the water and on the roads to grab the big bag of cash on offer. I think this is probably pretty common for the ITU guys with their World Championship Series, so it would be great to see a series like that developed for the long distance guys that pits the best against the best at least a couple of times before the big showdown on the Queen K later in the year.

The fog was incredibly thick again this morning and diving in about an hour later than the proposed start time for tomorrow, visibility was minimal and is going to cause a real headache for organizers come kickoff…so much so a contingency plan has been put in place for a duathlon! As a past World Duathlon Champion you’d think I’d be licking my lips at that thought, but I don’t think it’s the best thing for the sport if the much anticipated Abu Dhabi International Tri goes ahead as a Duathlon…it’d be a bigger flop than a Mike Tyson comeback!! Organizers are adamant though that athlete’s safety is the first priority so it’s a real possibility, unless the start is delayed by a couple of hours.

With a 4 a.m. transfer from hotel to race site, I better wind it up there and knock out one last light jog before tucking into some pre-race fuel for tomorrow’s extravaganza. The pace is going to be HOT tomorrow so I hope to have done enough at this early stage of the year not to be embarrassed by the ‘bike bullets’ threatening to take their revenge for all the time’s they’ve been run down in the past. If I have any energy left I’ll check in post race with a rundown from my perspective, hopefully with a positive spin from a personal standpoint. Whatever happens, the events unfoldings are sure to provide plenty of café/forum banter for Sunday morning and ensuing weeks thereafter.

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