Participating in Ironman Middle East, Fintech Robos’ Jamie Gracie Says Bahrain Excels in Hosting Global Races
Keen cyclist Jamie Gracie, New Zealander, who’s been living with his family and working in Bahrain since 2015, took part in the IRONMAN 70.3 Middle East Championship which was organised last week.
The fifth IRONMAN event in the Middle East and the official IRONMAN Middle East 70.3 Championship that has returned this December to Bahrain included cycling, swimming, and running 113 kilometers in a family-packed event over one weekend.
The championship consists of over 150 qualifying races in 50+ countries, regions and territories across the world. Each series culminates in its respective world championship event: The IRONMAN World Championship held annually in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i, and the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship which rotates globally on an annual basis.
The event featured a broad list of activities before the main event on Friday which showcased 1,061 male and female competitors representing 77 countries, namely: Bahrain, Tunisia, France, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Britain, Germany, USA, Romania, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Cyprus, Lebanon, Denmark, India, Kuwait, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Mexico, Australia, Jordan, UAE, New Zealand, Netherlands, Hungary, Poland, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, Morocco, Algeria, Brazil, South Africa, Libya, Spain, Greece, Switzerland, Venezuela, Ukraine, Singapore, Latvia, Indonesia, Syria, Czech Republic, Palestine, Oman, Sweden, Belgium, Gibraltar, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Peru, Malaysia, Qatar, Malta, China, Iraq, Turkey, Colombia, Argentina, Mozambique, Austria, Isle of Man, Chile, Croatia, Slovenia, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Luxembourg, Serbia, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe, Slovakia, Finland, Norway and Belarus.
Vincent Luis (a Bahrain Victorious 13 athlete from France) stormed to victory in the Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship Bahrain as he put on a display of supreme athleticism across all three disciplines. Luis showed that he has really managed to turn his fortunes around with his third win in not much over a month, as the former two-time ITU World Champion won IRONMAN 70.3 Middle East Championship Bahrain alongside compatriot Marjolaine Pierré (FRA).
Gracie, who is a keen cycling hobbyist participating in such a global race for the third time, finished 332 out of nearly 900 athletes. “I reckon that my final result was less than what I initially hoped for, but for me this wasn’t all about ranking! It’s about pushing my limits and the opportunity to be racing shoulder-to-shoulder and mixing with professional athletes from literally across the world,” he said.
Cycling races and sporting activities are not a totally new experience to Gracie, as he almost consistently goes cycling every weekend with local and expat cyclists in Bahrain, doing 80 kms and sometimes more than 150 kms with hundreds of athletes. “However, these well-organised regional and world tournaments such as the Ironman have a different sporting atmosphere altogether,” he added, elaborating that Bahrain really excels in bringing in and hosting some of the most attractive sporting rendezvous such as the Formula One, Ironman and marathons.
A software lead architect at Fintech Robos, Gracie looks forward to participating in the sixth Ironman championship next year in Bahrain as well as other regional Ironman 70.3 events in Dubai and Oman.