What’s On previews Tri Yas in Abu Dhabi, one the leading triathlons in UAE, held around Yas Marina and the Formula One circuit on Feb 20.

Professional triathlete Till Schramm tackles Tri Yas in Abu Dhabi on February 20 for the first time. The German will swim 1,500m, cycle 40km and then run 10k. Good job, then, that Till says he enjoys pain…

Why do you love triathlons? I love to suffer. I also find the atmosphere and spirit of triathlons fascinating. I’ve never had so much fun in any other sport as I do in triathlons; it’s a very social sport. I didn’t love them at the start because the weather in Germany is a nightmare and that made training hard. But now I live in Dubai I can train every day in the sun.

Are you away from home often for races? When I was living in Germany I was invited to international races and it was hard for my family because I was travelling so much. In October 2014 I moved permanently to Dubai with my wife and two sons. Dubai is a great travel hub because I have a lot of races in Asia. Triathlon is not the enemy for my family anymore; it’s the ticket to the coolest life we could imagine.

Tri Yas preview
What do you remember about your first triathlon? I was 17 and focused on bike racing, but I also swam and did a running event every now and then. One day I spontaneously decided to do a triathlon. My swim was a disaster, but the cycling and running went really well. I won the juniors race so I decided to do more of them.

The extreme race culture in the UAE is growing fast – why do you think that is? I think the type of person who is keen to travel the world and work in a foreign country is usually the sort of person who enjoys new challenges such as triathlons. Also I think expats in the UAE are performance driven and health-orientated so triathlon fits perfectly into the outdoor lifestyle.

February 20
Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi, 2pm, Dhs300. Tel: (800) 927. Taxi: Yas Marina. premieronline.com