Some useful definitions if you are new to the sport of triathlon.

  • Triathlon: Triathlon is sport comprising of 3 disciplines raced one after the other - it starts with a swim leg, then transitions onto a cycle leg and finishes with a run.
  • Start Waves: Smaller groups of athletes that begin the race every few minutes. Waves are usually determined by age group and gender. Wave starts are more common in races where a large number of athletes are competing.
  • Swim Leg: The part of the race where the athlete swims. The swim leg is the start of the race and it ends once you exit the water before entering the transition area. The swim route is marked out using buoys.
  • Sighting: Raising the head during swimming to look for landmarks or buoys that mark the swim course.
  • Buoy: A floating device that marks the course of the swim leg.
  • Transition Area: A defined area in which an athlete stores their bicycle and various other equipment. This is where the change over from swimming to cycling and cycling to running occur. The transition from swim and bike is referred to as T1 and that between the bike and run is referred to as T2. The overall race time includes time spent in T1 and T2.
  • Bike Leg: Part of the race course where the bike is to be ridden. The bike course starts at the Mount Line and finishes at the Dismount Line.
  • Mount Line: A designated line at the exit from transition after which athletes are to mount their bicycles and ride. The Mount Line will be clearly identified by flags/line/Technical Official, or combinations thereof.
  • Dismount Line: A clearly marked designated line at the entrance to Transition from the bike course before which athletes are to dismount their bikes fully and walk/run to the bike racks.
  • Drafting: A technique where two or more cyclists, cycle in a in a close group to reduce the effect of drag by using the front bicycle’s slipstream. Reminder, this is a NON Draft legal event.
  • Tri Bars: (Triathlon bars/Aero bars) aerodynamic handlebars that draw the body forward into a tucked position.
  • Run Course: Part of the race course where the athlete is to run or walk. The run course commences at the exit from the Transition Area and finishes at the Finish Line.
  • Splits: The time that it takes to complete a specific distance. In triathlon splits are usually given for the swim, bike and run legs. Splits can also be given for the two transitions (T1 & T2) and for various portions of the three individual legs.


What is the date of the event?

The ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi 2018 will take place on Friday 8 and Saturday 9 March 2019. The races will take places on the following dates*:

  • Junior races: Friday 8 March 2019
  • Elite men's and women's races: Friday 8 March 2019
  • All age-group race briefings: Friday 8 March 2019
  • Adult age group bike racking: Saturday 9 March 2019
  • Sprint age group race: Saturday 9 March 2019
  • Para sprint age group race: Saturday 9 March 2019
  • Olympic age group race: Saturday 9 March 2019
  • Middle age group race: Saturday 9 March 2019
  • Schools Sprint races: Saturday 9 March 2019

* Schedule subject to change. 


Can I sign up?

Travel packages and entries for the 2019 ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi will open later this year.


What are the race categories and prices for entry?


Sprint Individual Sat 750m 20km 5km TBC TBC
Para Sprint Individual Sat 750m 20km 5km TBC TBC
Sprint Team Sat 750m 20km 5km TBC TBC
Olympic Individual Sat 1500m 40km 10km TBC TBC
Olympic Team Sat 1500m 40km 10km TBC TBC
Middle Individual Sat 1900m 90km 21km TBC TBC
Middle Team Sat 1900m 90km 21km TBC TBC



Mini 1km (5-8 yrs) Fri 1km run - - TBC
Kids Duathlon (7-9, 10-11 yrs) Fri 500m run 4km bike 500m run TBC
Junior Duathlon (12-13, 14-15 yrs) Fri 500m run 7km bike 1km run TBC
Kids Triathlon (9-11 yrs) Fri 120m swim 4km bike 1km run TBC
Jnr SuperSprint (12-13,14-15 yrs) Fri 400m swim 10km bike 2.5k run TBC
Schools Sprint Individual Sat 750m swim 20km bike 5km run TBC
Schools Sprint Team Sat 750m swim 20km bike 5km run TBC



What is the Para Race Category?

The ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi will host a dedicated wave for para triathletes, with the following para-athlete categories:

  • PTWC/PTHC: This category includes athletes who predominantly use a wheelchair for their daily ambulation. This includes athletes with comparable activity limitation and an impairment of, but not limited to: muscle power, limb deficiency, hypertonia, ataxia, and athetosis. Severe cerebral palsy athletes will use a recumbent hand-cycle on the bike course and a racing wheelchair on the run segment. It is divided into two subclasses, H1 which is the most impaired and H2 being the least impaired.
  • PST2: This category includes athletes with comparable activity limitation and an impairment of, but not limited to, limb deficiency, hypertonia, ataxia and or athetosis, impaired muscle power or range of movement. Common health conditions could include a complete brachial plexus, above elbow amputee, double below knee amputee or severe cerebral palsy. In both bike and run segments, amputee athletes may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices.
  • PST3: Common health conditions could include partial brachial plexus, moderate multiple limb impairments or moderate cerebral palsy. In both bike and run segments, the athlete may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices.
  • PST4: Common health conditions could include a below knee amputee, below elbow amputee and mild cerebral palsy. In both bike and run segments, the athlete may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices.
  • PST5: Common health conditions could include a below knee amputee, below elbow amputee and mild cerebral palsy. In both bike and run segments, the athlete may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices
  • PTVI: This category includes athletes with total or Partial Visual Impairment (IBSA/IPC defined subclasses B1, B2, and B3): To be eligible, athletes must meet the criteria outlined below. One guide is mandatory throughout the race and each competitor must ride a tandem during the bike segment.
    • a) B1: Visual acuity poorer than LogMAR 2.60
    • b) B2: Visual acuity ranging from LogMAR 1.50 to 2.60 (inclusive) and/or visual field constricted to a diameter of less than 10 degrees
    • c) B3: Visual acuity ranging from LogMAR 1.40 to 1 (inclusive) and/or visual field constricted to a diameter of less than 40 degrees.

Where will be event take place and can I check out the course maps?

Stay tuned - the venue and race courses will be announced soon.

What do I get as part of my entry?

Participants received an awesome race pack in 2018 which included:

  • Race number (if you enter before midnight on 28 January 2018 your race number will be personalized with your name)
  • Event branded athlete sports bag
  • Finishers Medal
  • One free race photo provided by Marathon Photos (you can purchase additional photographs)
  • Swim cap
  • Athlete identification pack including supporter sticker
  • Wristband
  • Printed athletes' guide
  • On-course nutrition
  • Prize-giving
  • Secure bag storage zone
  • Complimentary entry in Ferrari World Abu Dhabi for the first 2,500 entrants
Additional Athlete Services on offer at 2018's event include:
  • Bike hire
  • Bike servicing, boxing and unboxing
  • Training programs, preparation tips and nutritional guides
  • Scheduled group training sessions during event week
  • Travel services
  • Airport transfer and shuttle services

Race packs and athlete services for the 2019 ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi will be announced soon.

Can I get a personalised race number?

Yes! If you sign up before a specified date, your name willl be printed on your race number. Information coming soon.


Can I do a triathlon?

With some time and training, anyone can do a triathlon. ITU World Triathlon Series Abu Dhabi is designed to be a mass participation event with distances catering to novice and experienced triathletes.

To complete the Sprint you need to be able to swim 20 lengths of  a 25m pool, be able to cycle for 40-60 minutes and then run 30-40 minutes. You can also enter the event in a team and choose one of the disciplines.


What is the Daman Tri Fit Challenge?

 The Daman Tri Fit Challenge is a free 3-month training programme taking you onto the blue carpet at the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi presented by Daman’s ActiveLife. The programme is open to (1) first-timers looking to take on their first ever triathlon, and (2) Performance athletes who are looking to get a personal best at the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi. For more information on the Daman Tri Fit Challenge, click here.


What are the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi categories and distances?

  • Sprint distance:  750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run (cut off: 2 hours 15 mins)
    • ​Swim cut off: 30 minutes
    • Bike cut off: 1 hour
    • Run cut off: 45 minutes
  • Olympic distance: 1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run (cut off: 4 hours)
    • Swim cut off: 60 minutes
    • Bike cut off: 1 hour 40 minutes
    • Run cut off: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Middle distance:  1900m swim, 90km bike, 21km run (cut off: 7 hours 30 mins)​
    • Swim cut off: 1 hour 30 minutes
    • Bike cut off: 3 hours 45 minutes
    • Run cut off: 2 hours 15 minutes

Drafting is illegal in all the cycle legs of the each race.


What is the age eligibility for each distance?

For the 2018 races, the age eligibilities were as follows:

  • ​Individual Sprint: minimum age 16 @ 31 Dec 2018
  • Individual Olympic: minimum age 18 @ 31 Dec 2018
  • Individual Middle: minimum age 18 @ 31 Dec 2018
  • Team Sprint: minimum age 12 @ 31 Dec 2018
  • Team Olympic: minimum age 16 @ 31 Dec 2018
  • Team Middle: minimum age 18 @ 31 Dec 2018

Stay tuned for information on the 2019 ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi.

What distance should I choose?

For most, the biggest barrier to doing a triathlon is the swim, thus decide which distance you wish to enter based on what distance you feel you would be comfortable swimming. The Sprint distance swim is 750m, the Olympic distance is 1500m and the Middle distance is 1900m.

If you’re just starting out, consider doing the Sprint, with a 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run. Even though the 20km cycle and 5km run might not sound that far – doing all three disciplines together will provide a suitable challenge for your first triathlon.


Do I need to have a strong background in one of the events?

You don’t need to have a sporting pedigree to tackle your first triathlon. Be active 3 to 5 times a week, include at least one session of each discipline per week and slowly increase your distances trained. Joining a triathlon/multisport club or getting a basic training program from a coach will aid your preparation for the event.


Must I race as an individual or can I enter in a team?

All race options can be completed as a team relay allowing each participant to complete the discipline they are most comfortable with. The relay format markes the triathlon very manageable for first-timers, giving them a great introduction to the sport and the chance to enjoy participating with family and friends.

Of course - ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi caters for individual entries as well as team entries!


Can a team entry consist of 2 participants and not just 3?

Yes a team can have 2 participants where one person can do two legs of the event.


Will there by hyrdration on course?

Yes - our team of friendly volunteers will be handing out hydration and fresh fruit along the bike and run course.


Can my children sign up?

Yes! There are multiple distance options for children aged from 5 years:

Mini 1km 5-8 yrs 1km run - -
Kids Duathlon 7-9, 10-11 yrs 500m run 4km bike 500m run
Junior Duathlon 12-13, 14-15 yrs 500m run 7km bike 1km run
Kids Triathlon 9-11 yrs 120m swim 4km bike 400m run
Junior Triathlon Supersprint 12-13, 14-15 yrs 400m swim 10km bike 2.5km run
Schools Sprint Individual 16+ years 750m swim 20km bike 5km run
Schools Sprint Team 12+ years 750m swim 20km bike 5km run



Do I need triathlon specific equipment?

While triathlon can be a gear centric sport, it doesn’t have to be. You are welcome to cycle an old mountain bike and run in your favourite pair of shoes. It’s up to you how much you wish to invest. If you want to purchase new equipment for the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi, our partners at On Running will make sure you're running on clouds, and BeSport Bike Shop will sort out your bike for you. Don't forget our official merchandise range in the World Triathlon Store would be more than happy help!


Do I need to buy a wetsuit?

Wetsuits are usually optional for this event, in accordance with the ITU competition rules governing wetsuit use and water temperature. Besides keeping you warm during the swim, wetsuits also assist with buoyancy and help you swim faster.


I don’t have a fancy bike, can one use a mountain bike for the race?

Yes, mountain bikes will be allowed.


Will time trial (TT) bikes be allowed?

Yes, time trial bikes will be allowed as this is a non-drafting event.

Handlebars and wheels that are allowed must comply with the following specifications:


  • Wheels must have at least 12 spokes.
  • Covers are allowed on the rear wheel. However, this provision may be changed by the Technical Delegate in the interest of safety, i.e. high-winds.


  • Only handlebars and clip-on bars not extending beyond the leading edge of the front wheel will be permitted.
  • Two piece clip-on bars do not need to be bridged.
  • All tube ends must be plugged.

Please refer to the ITU website for more detailed info. Click here for more information.


Can I rent a bike?

Yes! If you're racing in the age-grouper races, please contact our partners at BeSport Bike Shop - email itu@besport.ae​, copying manue@worldsport.co.za

If you're competing in the junior races, you can rent a bike, free of charge, from our partners at Cleveland Clinic. When you sign up for the race on Premier Online, you will be able to secure a rental bike in the Event Store (this can also be done retrospectively if you have already signed up). The bike selection if according to the height of the child, so please have that information ready. Complimentary bike rental for children is subject to availability, and allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.


Will there be any bike tecnical support during race weekend?

Yes - our partners at BeSport Bike Shop will be on-hand to support during race weekend.

  • Bike Unboxing / Boxing is available at the Crowne Plaza  (downstairs on the terrace by the pool) from 12pm - 6pm  from Tuesday 27th February - Friday 2nd March (unboxing) and from 12pm - 6pm on Sunday 4th - Monday 5th March for boxing. This is a chargeable service, please email ITU@besport.ae for details and to book a time slot. 
  • Bike Repairs - BeSport mechanics will be available at Transition during Bike Check-in on Friday and Saturday morning and in their Merchandise Tent in the Race Village for any repairs - Thursday 1st March (11.30am - 6pm), Friday 2nd March (7.30am - 6pm) and Saturday 3rd March (7am - 6pm). 

A mechanic will be on-hand for any last-minute bike problems...don't worry!


What is deemed to be Illegal equipment in a Triathlon event?

Illegal equipment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Headphone(s) or headset(s)
  • Glass containers
  • Mobile phone(s) or any other electronic listening communication device
  • Cameras and GoPro’s or similar





Must the event disclaimer be signed by all?

Yes, every individual and every team member must complete the event disclaimer - if you are signing up online, you will check a box to agree to the event disclaimer. Those signing up in person, either pre-event or those signing up during event week in the Athletes Village, must sign a physical dislaimer form. Entrants 18 and younger must have it signed by a parent or legal guardian. All team members must be at registration to collect race packs. Identification will need to be produced at registration for entry verification.


Will there be start waves, and how will these be determined?

Yes, there will be start waves for all races – Sprint, Olympic and Middle distances - as well as dedicated waves for para athletes.

Waves will be determined according to various categories such as age groups and gender. Start waves will be communicated once entries have closed, prior to race registration.


May I start in another start wave?

No, the various categories are pre allocated a start wave each with a specific start time. This could lead to a disqualification. 


I have entered as an individual along with my friends/family, why are we in different start groups?

The start group times are allocated according to gender and age groups, which means that if you and your friends or family are of various ages and genders you might not be able to start in the same start groups.  


When do I check in my bike?

All adult age-group bike racking will take place on Saturday 3 March 2018.


Sat 3 March 05.00 - 06.30 Middle Distance
Sat 3 March 07.00 - 08.30 Olympic Distance
Sat 3 March 09.30 - 11.00 Sprint Distance

Juniors will rack their bikes prior to their race on Friday 2 March 20a8, from 07.30.


What to do when checking in bike?

Please ensure that you:

  • Wear your bike helmet, fastened on your head, when you come into check-in
  • Please also bring with any equipment you need into transition
  • Please note that no bags will be allowed to be left in the Transition Area
  • Please make sure your helmet, bike and transition bag are clearly marked with the stickers provided - wristbands must be worn in order to check-in and check-out your bike, and must correspond to the race numbers on your helmet and bike
  • Ensure that your handle bars are plugged for safety reasons

Our partners, BeSport Bike Shop, will be located near to bike check-in for any last minute tweaks.


Drafting, when will this be allowed, and when not?

Drafting is illegal in all races.


Why do the Cycle and Run courses consist of laps?

The World Triathlon Series is an international series comprising of 9 events around the world. The series attracts and hosts the top ranked international triathletes, as well as complete novices to the seasoned and competitive triathletes in the various age groups.

  1. Including laps into the route ensures that the race is contained, making public engagement more accessible with the opportunity to view and get to know the athletes that we ordinarily only see on TV. Furthermore, loyal supporters, family and friends of all athletes have the opportunity to see and interact with their athletes more often.
  2. The safety of our participants will always remain our primary consideration.
  3. The World Triathlon Series also has various events taking place over the entire weekend, and the length of the course takes into consideration access requirements for residence, bus routes and other City users.


Is there a cut off time?

Yes - each race distance must be completed within the following set times:

  • SPRINT - 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • OLYMPIC - 4 hours
  • MIDDLE - 7 hours, 30 minutes

If you are unable to complete your race within the allocated time frame, you will be asked to leave the course and your result will be listed as DNF (Did Not Finish).


Will the age groupers receive splits for the separate legs swim/bike/run?

Age groupers will receive time splits. There will be a timing mat at the entrance and exit of transition and at the race finish. There will be additional timing to record cycle and run laps as well.





When can I enter?

Earlybird 19 Sept - 31 Oct 2017 (or until 500 earlybird entries fill up) - SOLD OUT
Regular 1 Nov 2017 - 16 Feb 2018 SOLD OUT
Late 17 Feb - 28 Feb 2018


For those travelling from overseas, packages are already on sale - please email ITUTriathlonAUH@etihad.ae.


Is it possible for me to cancel my race entry? And what is the policy on refunds?

You are able to cancel/credit registrations up to the cut-off date of midnight on 31 January 2018. Thereafter entry fees will not be refundable. Cancelled registration fees will be credited back to your payment card minus an Online Credit processing fee of 50 AED or 8% (whichever is greater) or to your Online Credit (minus 30 AED processing fee).  You can use that Online Credit on any other event listed on Premier Online. Premier Online also gives you the option to purchase a Zero Charge Refund Cover at checkout which guarantees that you will get 100% of your registration fee refunded if you have to cancel before the cut-off date.

Cancellations can only be made online and by the person who made the original registration.


Can my entry for this year’s event be deferred to next year’s event?

No – participants cannot defer their entry to 2019.


Is it possible to transfer my entry to someone else?

No – participants cannot transfer their entry to another athlete.


Is it possible to convert my entry either from a Sprint, Olympic or Maxi Distance to another Distance?

Participants can request to transfer their entry between event distances up until the cut-off date of 31 January 2018. Subject to availability, should you decide to upgrade from the Sprint to Olympic distance or Olympic to Middle distance, you will need to pay the difference in entry fees. In the event of changing down from Middle to Olympic, or Olympic to Sprint distance, we will not be able to refund the difference in entry fee. In each case, a processing fee of 30 AED will be payable.  Any differences in registration prices will not be refunded but if they want to change up they will have to pay the difference.

Afer the cut-off date, the only way to change your category is during Registration and Race Pack Pick up. Changes will be subject to availability, and you will be charged an admin fee of AED 50 to change.


Do I need to pay a day licence fee?

No, you will not need to pay a day licence to compete in this event.


I have not received an email confirmation that I have registered?

Please contact race office via email info@wts-abudhabi.com, and they will send you a confirmation email.


When and where do I pick up my race pack?

Race pack pick-up and registration will take place on the following days:

Tues 27 Feb 16.00 - 20.00 Adventure HQ, Times Square Centre, Dubai
Thurs 1 March 12.00 - 18.00 Race Village, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi
Fri 2 March 10.00 - 18.00 Race Village, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi

If you wish to collect your race pack in Dubai (on Tuesday 27 February), you must sign up before 23rd February.

You must bring a photo ID to pick up your race pack.

Can I pick up a race pack for a friend?

You can ask a friend to collect your race pack for you if you comply with the following:

Athlete provides a signed letter or e-mail showing contact details, and the following:

  • Athlete’s ID or Passport number
  • Permission for the friend to collect on their behalf
  • Friends full name that is collecting for them
  • Friend’s ID or Passport number




My brand would like to sponsor the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi - how can we get involved?

If your brand would like to be associated with the pinnacle of world triathlon, we have several packages available from exhibitors to sponsors. Contact info@worldsport.ae for more information.