Brief History of TriClub Doha

TriClub Doha founded in March 2013

TriClub Doha was the vision of Nicholaas (Nickel) Nijman, a young Dutch triathlete in Doha in the spring of 2013. At this point the triathlon scene was mainly triathletes who had come to Doha and didn’t quite fit into weekly Friday rides with QCR due to having time trial bikes. The only large race in the region was the original Abu Dhabi Triathlon (with the unusual distance of 1km swim, 100km bike and 10km run.) An inaugural general meeting appointed a small committee of triathletes, a group of 4, Ewan Cameron, Emily Kelly, Chris Dite and Nickel and the initial task was to plan some triathlons in Doha, since there is little point having a triathlon club if there are no races to enter.

GMC TriSeries Doha…the first Triathlon Series in Qatar

In November 2013, with the grateful sponsorship received from Mannai Corporation and the generous support of Aspire Logistics, the GMC TriSeries Doha was launched at Aspire Zone, featuring a 500m swim in an indoor 50m pool, a bumpy bike ride on a cobbled road and a run around the outside of the Aspire dome. That season the participants grew from 80 in the first race to 150 in the fourth and we took off. We also received permission to swim at the Pearl on a Saturday morning and soon we had a regular twenty to thirty triathletes swimming and running on a weekly basis. Our first tour group, of around 40 triathletes and families, travelled to Abu Dhabi Triathlon and “Team Doha” became prominent in the region.

2014-2015 More than a TriSeries

The 2014-2015 season saw the number of triathletes participating continue to grow and the committee got a bit larger. We launched our first Tri-Suit and continued to grow the GMC TriSeries from 150 participants to 220. That season saw new races appear on the calendar including Challenge half ironman races in Bahrain and Dubai and the Abu Dhabi Triathlon morphed into the ITU Abu Dhabi. Team Doha sent large delegations to all three of these international races. We also worked together with Dukhan water sports club to run a better quality race on the west coast of Qatar.

2015-2016: The club makes a step change by investing in timing gear

In the summer of 2015, Nickel returned to the Netherlands and Ewan Cameron was appointed President of TriClub Doha. The committee took a big bet to invest in a mylaps timing system and the concept of membership was introduced to the club to help fund the cost of the timing system and to purchase the timing chips, which cost QAR150 each, and to build a solid database of active triathletes in Qatar. We also created an alliance with Carbon Wheels bike shop to distribute the timing chips and collect memberships. In total we recruited 405 members, more than double what we expected. In this season we were able to start free monthly Monday night Duathlons at Lusail and Saturday morning Aquathlons at the Pearl. As the only race timers in Qatar, the club assisted with timing several race events, including the now defunct Aspire Aquathon Series, the Torch Run and Dukhan Triathlon.

2016-2017: expansion to Doha Triathlon and the Dukhan TriSeries

Hatem ElSafty was appointed as President in the largest year of expansion for the club. The club hired our first employee, Michelle Shillabeer, an experienced former employee of British Swimming,  as part-time club coordinator to assist with membership and club administration. Membership remained stable at 389 members and the club introduced a second triathlon series, Dukhan TriSeries in conjunction with the QP Dukhan Watersports Club and Dukhan English School with Tim Drew serving as race director. This series was hugely successful. The club also continued to run the GMC TriSeries, although the venue was moved to Qatar Foundation’s Education City due to building work taking place at Aspire. The club also worked closely with the Qatar Triathlon Federation and Qatar Museums to organise the inaugural Doha Triathlon at the Museum of Islamic Art Park in January 2017, with Hatem serving as race director. The first off-road triathlon was held at Fuwarit beach. More than 2,000 participants took part in these 8 triathlons. The club continued to run free monthly aquathlons and duathlons and weekly Saturday morning swim, run and breakfast, introducing new venues at the Intercontinental Doha hotel and MIA Park.

2017-2018…our Club is finally incorporated at TriDoha LLC(G)

Hatem continued as President for the second year and was instrumental in formalised the legal status of the club. We incorporated as a company within the Qatar Financial Centre as TriDoha LLC(G), a LLC guaranteed by its members, a common structure for clubs and associations to incorporate. Membership in the season jumped to 505, a growth of 30%. The club was able to run 3 triathlons at Qatar Foundation during the season and was instrumental in organising the Ghariya triathlon with Qatar Triathlon Federation. During the season, the club organised 20 free races for our members during the season. Besides the 8 regular Monday night Lusail Duathlons, 8 Saturday morning Aquathlons and the off-road triathlon, we ran two oceanman events at Khor Al Adaid and a long course Duathlon at Rawdat Rashid. Working with local coaches, a training program for our members was introduced, running five free coached sessions each week for our members, with two weekday sessions at Education City facilities. The club sent large teams overseas, with over 70 members participating in the Ironman 70.3 Colombo and a club-sponsored team taking part in the European and Middle East Ironman 70.3 TriClub Championships in Barcelona in May, where the club finished a respectable 8th place in Division IV. At the end of the season, the club hired our second employee, Lea Koivisto, as part-time Race Manager to run the 12 planned events at Qatar Foundation in the 2018-2019 season

2018-2019…a new season is upon us.

As summer passes we will launch the new season of TriClub Doha in early September 2018, with our kick-off event planned for Friday 14th September. Check out our calendar for more information.