Oceanside is one of the oldest and greatest races out there. With beautiful views and a challenging but fun course, this is a race not to be missed!
The swim starts out in the early morning in the Oceanside Harbor. Often there is a marine layer keeping things nice and cool. But don’t expect that to stay! Things quickly heat up, but it’s never too warm on this course. This year, they’ll be doing a rolling start for the swim. I have to say, I’m pretty excited for this change. I’ve done the rolling start for a full Ironman, but never for a half. I think it will make the swim even better; you get the opportunity to start with people of similar speeds rather than just your age group. The only downside to this comes if you’re trying to qualify for Worlds. You don’t really know where you competition is, but to me it’s just motivation to keep pushing and racing your best!
After exiting the swim, it’s time to bike. The bike starts out flat and fast! You’ll head up the coast, but you don’t really have time to take in the views. Don’t push too hard through the first part of this course because it won’t be long before you hit Camp Pendleton. This is truly one of the greatest reasons to do this race. It’s only during the race that you’re allowed to ride on the Marine Base Camp Pendleton. You will be challenged by the hills at this point of the race. But know they only last a few minutes (at least the first one). And, don’t go flying downhill; there is a speed limit and race officials will be waiting to give you a penalty! While riding through Camp Pendleton, you’ll see plenty of Marines--and the aid station on base is staffed by these great men!
Once you get through Camp Pendleton, it’s smooth sailing back to T2. With the exception of a little wind, this is truly one of my favorite parts of the course. You only have about 10 miles left on the bike and it’s flat and straight. It’s a great place to start picking off athletes as you head back to T2. And, the closer you get to T2, the more spectators there are to cheer you on!
I might be biased as running is my favorite of the three disciplines, but the run course here is amazing! You run along The Strand, up and down the pier and along beach house lined streets. There truly isn’t a place on this course that there aren’t spectators to cheer you on. The run course is flat and fast! And with two loops, there is plenty of opportunity for your support crew to see you. This course is definitely a place to set a new run PR.
Like all other races out there, I’m always looking forward to the finish line. This is one of the best! You finish at the ocean’s edge and it’s packed with cheering spectators. For me, this is always motivation to put a smile on my face and finish strong!
Oceanside 70.3 is one of my favorite races. You can’t beat the location and the spectators are amazing. The volunteers here are second to none and truly look out for the athletes. I’m looking forward to getting back on the race course in just a few days and hope to see many of you out there!
Written by Melissa Stratton
Follow Melissa on Instagram! @ironmel140.6