Abu Dhabi: Registration for next year’s ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi opens on Tuesday as organisers encourage athletes — from first-timers to seasoned competitors — to join the race at Yas Island, March 8-9.

The season-opening event of the ITU’s global World Triathlon Series, has grown 56 per cent since its 2015 inception from 1,600 to 2,500 amateur participants, making it the biggest triathlon in the Middle East. With dedicated slots for Special Olympics and Para-athletes, it’s also the most inclusive.

The event features three categories; elites, age-groupers and juniors, with the age grouper races allowing amateurs to compete as individuals or part of a team in Super Sprint (375-metre swim, 10-km cycle and 2.5-km run), Sprint (750-metre swim, 20-km cycle and 5-km run), and Olympic (1,500-metre swim, 40-km cycle and 10-km run).

The weekend will also be a family affair, with the return of junior races — a fun event aimed at encouraging youngsters to get active — featuring various races from children aged 5-years and above. There will be a Mini 1-km run for 5-8 year-olds, a Kids Duathlon (500-metre run, 4-km cycle, 500-metre run) for 7-11 year-olds, a Junior Duathlon (1-km run, 7-km cycle, 500-metre run) for 12-15 year-olds and a Junior Triathlon (120-metre swim, 4-km cycle, 1-km run) for 9-11 year-olds. There will also be a Junior Triathlon Super Sprint, (400-metre swim, 10-km cycle, 2.5-km run) for 12-15 year-olds, and a Schools Sprint (750-metre swim, 20-km cycle, 5-km run)

The ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi allows amateurs with the rare chance to race on the same weekend and the same course as the world’s best triathletes, who are taking part in the elite division. Earlier this year the 2018 edition of the triathlon welcomed athletes from 5-72 years-old, representing 92 nationalities and members of 191 clubs, proof of how international, inclusive and gender equal the sport is. What’s more, the reach of the event is global not only local with people travelling to Abu Dhabi from over 50 countries to take part and 2.5 million watching on TV from all over the world. To enter visit www.abudhabi.triathlon.org