He stands five feet tall and weighs 59kg. He said: “Being small is not a disadvantage in triathlon, and I have proved that many a times in numerous races I attended, wherein I surpassed many athletes who are taller than me. I believe I am small but very tough. It is all about discipline and determination to succeed. There is no cash prize for this, we are racing for some charity organisations and for a chance to compete in the Ultraman World Championship in Hawaii, in November.”
I will join the Ironman African Championship on April 7, 2019, Ironman European Championship on June 30, 2019 and another Ironman around August and October 2019. I would continue doing triathlon and fly boarding, and be a world-class athlete
A triathlon is a multisport race with three continuous and sequential endurance races, the most common form includes: swimming, cycling and running over various distances.
Fit to race
How to be in the best shape for a race? He said: “My Ultraman coach Jeremy Howard of Way2Champ Endurance Coaching, who is based in the US, prepares my training programs for two to three weeks and from there I know exactly my swim, bike, run training plans for those weeks and plot it to my calendar. He always pushes me to train smart and follow the programs wholeheartedly with total dedication. Since I live in Al Ain, I swim in the Olympic size pool of Danat Al Ain Resort. At times I go to Abu Dhabi for an open water swim. I do my bicycle trainings in Jebel Hafeet Mountain, Al Ain Cycling Track and in my home for indoor cycling. I normally run around Al Masoudi or in Wadi Park and on my treadmill at home. Smart training is the key. You need time for mobility and stretching exercises, sleep and stick to your nutrition plan.”
Image credit: Manuel Almario/Gulf News
He first knew about triathlon around April 2016, when his friend Rodruf Sollestre invited him to watch his team’s swimming session. He said: “At that time I didn’t know how to swim and was afraid to get into the deep water. I didn’t even know how to pedal the right way and was really slow in cycling. I never had done more than five kilometres of running. Some athletes discouraged me to continue the sport because I am a newbie and do not have the skills, but I took them on as a challenge. I studied the sports, watched Youtube triathlon videos, asked some people’s help and patiently practised the skills. After a couple of months of training, I did my first Sprint Triathlon in Roy Nasr Memorial Triathlon in October 2016. I enjoyed this sport and the rest of it is history.”
I consider the UAE my second home. What I love about the UAE is that they provide us world-class facilities for a triathlon, mostly with free access where you can develop your skills and talent and boost your athletic spirit
To date, he has completed 8 X 70.3 distances (1.9km swim, 90km bike, 21.1km run) in Bahrain, the UAE, Turkey, Nelson Mandela Bay - South Africa and the Philippines. He also did the full Ironman (3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42.2km run) in South Africa, and more than 40 races that includes marathons, half marathons, sprint to long courses triathlons, aquathlons, 5 to 16km run, swim and bike races, and many more.
He said: “I got my first podium when I did the second edition of Abu Dhabi Swimming Festival at Al Hudayriat Island in October 2018 for completing four swim courses of 1600mm, 800m, 400m, 200m. And another podium in 200m swim in November 2018. Another achievement was the 2017 Ironman All World Athlete - Bronze, and 2018 Ironman All World Athlete - Silver.
“I admire the women, pro-triathlete Sarah True from the US and Daniela Ryf of Switzerland. I met them during the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in South Africa. They are the World Champions in the Ironman races, they are sweet, kind and very approachable.”
3-day Ultra-Endurance event
423km bike ride
Health benefits of being active in sport?
He said: “When I started the fitness stuff and involved in sport, I felt very strong, never get sick, and seemed like a superman who could do so many things, my brain and memory functions very well, too, and if wounded it heals fast. I love my health now compared to my life when I was a smoker and an alcoholic. I make sure to have a balanced diet meal. Take lots of protein, carbs and a little portion of healthy fats. Carbs are your muscles preferred source of energy. Ideally, these carbs should come from real food such as whole grains, fruits, beans and vegetables. These foods supply your body with energy and provide essential nutrients your body needs for recovery and health.
“Protein supplies the amino acids your muscles need for recovery and growth, and as a triathlete, I need more protein than a non-athlete. During my training I make sure that I maintain 60g of carbs per hour, I get it from energy gels or bar and vitargo electrolytes. I love eating fruits and vegetables. But sometimes I do have a cheat day, maybe once or twice in 10 days, I eat whatever I want.”
I save money every month and run in triathlon races in different parts of the world so I can help the indigenous tribal communities in Palawan, Philippines
What are your chances of winning the Ultraman?
He said: “I would be very happy if I will be in the top five in the male category. I believe I can do it. I do appreciate my family, friends and the triathlon communities in the Philippines and the UAE, as well as the tribal communities of Palawan, Philippines, for their love and support. They inspired, motivated and encouraged me a lot to finish the race strong. I am motivated to get the Finisher Medal.”
How would you feel if you fail in this race?
He said: “If I fail, of course, I may feel disappointed because I prepared myself many months for this race, and the world is watching and supporting me, because I am also doing the race for them. But whatever the result maybe I have to accept that and move on.”