By 4pm yesterday (Wednesday), the Fujairah Corniche was closed to traffic to allow the staging of the UAE Police Triathlon.
The footpaths had been steamed, the flags were flying and every policeman not racing was giving orders and enjoying the festivity of the event.
A large marquee had been pitched for the VIPs in the Hilton corner of the corniche. These men who looked like they needed exercise sipped their juices and dined on dates as they watched the young police go through their paces.
The instructions seemed to take forever as the organizers explained how swimmers needed to go around the outside of the buoys. Police in uniforms and in athletic clothes stood to attention and saluted while the national anthem was played. After the starter loaded his pistol a crack rang out and the competitors leaped into the sea like a lemmings.
The swimming race quickly sorted the men from the boys. One or two gave up after 100 metres and were picked up by a Police Rescue boat. Don’t reckon on the police to save you if get into difficulties in the water. The two swimmers who emerged from the water first had a significant lead on the pack, a distance which they never relinquished for the entire race.
A growing number of supporters lined both sides of the Corniche Road and some women viewed the proceedings from the rooftop of a home overlooking the corniche. Vendors sounded hooters in the hope that they would sell more water and snacks. Many of the water bottles that supporters purchased were given to the cyclists and runners who cooled themselves down as they headed up the road.
It was hot when the race commenced at 4.30pm but by the time the last few stragglers crossed the line the temperature had dropped and the corniche looked a picture in the rich evening glow.
Individual place getters are bound to be announced in other papers but for team points, Dubai Police took the gold, Fujairah the silver and Abu Dhabi the bronze.
Take a Look
Some photos of the Police Triathlon are posted in this album.
This article is also posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.
Image: The winner canters home, to the cheers of the crowd, looking like he could do another lap.