Shaquel al Balushi finds action shots a-plenty at the Millennium Triathlon in Mussanah.
Winter is fast approaching and for many, it’s the perfect time for relaxing on a beach or on their sofas.
However, for this group of athletes at the Millennium Resort, in Mussanah, it really is the perfect time to get their muscles moving.
I’m at the Sultanate’s purpose-built sporting facility from the 2010 Asian Beach Games as it opens its doors wide to the public one more time; this time, for the inaugural edition of the Millennium Triathlon. It aims to put Oman on top of the sporting calendar as athletes from around the world, including Bahrain and Kuwait, grace the triathlon.
With high humidity in the air, the weather in Mussanah isn’t what you’d call picture-perfect but the scenery certainly is. And the track is really lit up with the sound of buzzing athletes.
But from where I’m standing, it’s hard to tell everybody apart. It seems as if everything is happening around me at the same time.
Taking a 360-degree spin reveals a group of swimmers taking part in the 750 metre swimming event, some cyclists on their triathlon bicycles for the 20km sprint and another group of athletes taking on the 5km run.
In true triathlon tradition, there are also contestants taking part in Olympic-level events but, to my dismay, there is only a handful of coaches and organisers and also a local DJ motivating the participating athletes to the finish line.
Now I need to make this clear: I am not taking part in the triathlon but being a photographer, I have to play along with the athletes. Picture-wise, the triathlon is a photographer’s paradise: with different athletes offering various poses on the trot alongside a variety of other action shots.
But as luck would have it, I’m forced to retreat as the clouds start to break and the rain begins to pour down.
With these photos, however, I hoped to capture both the awe-inspiring beauty of athletic grace, and the everyday, universal nature of these talented triathletes, who have strength and incredible stamina. And at the end of the day, everybody was a winner – even if they weren’t first past the finish post.
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The Millennium Triathlon is organised in association with the Muscat Triathlon Club (MTC) in partnership with Tri.ME, an Oman based events coordination company.