Mehdi, ONEndurance Abu Dhabi and I

2012OECompleteLogoPicI remember I arrived to the UAE in September 2011 happy and fascinated for all the new adventures ahead. By that time I was in the last third of my twelve month training plan to race Arizona Ironman. New in town, new venues and no bike. But not everything looked bad, I met great people who showed me where to go and where to train. I tried my best and went back to the USA and race.

Between all those days, I met wonderful people like Gamal, Asaad, Alaa, Tarek and Tea. We all trained together for the Dubai Marathon 2012, we all called the group in the beginning “We are the ONES”. As the marathon passed the number of members were going down but we kept in contact and opened a FB page under that name. And this is the beginning.

The mantra of the group was “Smart training” and it was producing a very unique chemistry and fellowship between the few old members and the new members. We are just a bunch of happy people loving life and training now days.

MehdiPicI remember clearly during one of those bike rides I met Mehdi, and from the first second I knew how much he loved the sport, the training and the things behind triathlons. We ride that morning as kids around Yas Island, playing with the bikes and with the dense fog. Jokes here and jokes there Mehdi left that day leaving a smile on my face.

More opportunities came and more people met him happy, always smiling and positive. I met his wife Mimi in one of the group’s get together, by this time the group’s name was changed to ONEndurance Abu Dhabi. I met his father after with  same smile and same spirit.

One day Mehdi saw me riding without tail light during an evening training session in Saadiyat Island and He gave me one of his for safety. He said “Lou! Lou! safety first, stop after that corner I give you one of mine”. Amazing gesture that only a true friend does.

Mehdi had dreams, The Coast to Coast ride, The Flag to Flag ride, YAS Tri, ADIT Short Course, a 70.3 and a 140.6 in the future. He loved the sport and everything related to it.

Mehdi was struck by a truck from behind, a car going at high speed in a 60kph back road in Abu Dhabi. Stealing all his dreams and taking him away from us.

SarancesPicONEndurance is still in shock and decided to go on a 3×1 format bike training (3 fridays indoor and 1 friday outdoor) to minimize the risk. There are two cycling tracks but they require long drives and long mornings.

Thanks to Saracens Cycle we have a room, spinning bikes, sound system and plenty space to do multispor training.The group got stronger than never before, members took turns to visit him in the hospital and show support to his family.

We learn a huge lesson and there wont be any other ride on the roads. Sag cars? they can be taken as road rage.

ONEndurance Abu Dhabi remembers Mehdi:

  • Leyla, Amanda, Muneer, Stefan, Mark and Ryan are traveling to Challenge Pucket 70.3 to accomplished one of Mehdi’s dreams this December 1st 2013.
  • The rest of us will stay in town to ride the Flag to Flag ride, from Dubai to Abu Dhabi wearing the most favorite color Mehdi had, green, on December 2nd 2013.
  • We all be racing Yas Tri 2014 and ADIT 2014 in his memory.

And

  • I will be bringing Mehdi’s colors across the finish line in any 140.6 this 2014, that is my tribute to you my friend to our friendship.

Mehdi!!!! YOU will be always in my heart, your living smile forever and you know Mehdi, I will see you there.

I miss you Mehdi.

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