Oceanside California

At one time, before Ironman events become so prolific, it seemed as if the Oceanside 70.3 served as the unofficial start of the triathlon season. Now, thanks to the year round, global nature of the sport, it’s hard to say exactly when the season begins but here at Coeur, we still put a big circle around the date in March for Oceanside. To be a bit more precise, we make a big “heart symbol” around the date because we love the event.

For Coeur Sports, the Oceanside 70.3 is practically a local race. It’s just down the road from our offices in Santa Monica and it’s one of our favorite events. The field always seems stacked with top pros and age groupers and for some reason, the race frequently generates a sprint finish between a few of the top athletes.

For those of you coming out for this fantastic event that are not from the Southern Californian area, here’s some information we hope you find helpful.

Oceanside is the third largest city in San Diego County and has a fantastic harbor, great restaurants and plenty of the famous Southern Californian relaxing vibe.  Its pier is the longest wooden pier on the Pacific Coast, so it is a great place to walk and as everyone will tell you... you won’t have to worry about the weather. The San Diego weather is the best in the country. It is almost always perfect. No polar vortex here!

The city of Oceanside is a 40 minute drive from San Diego and (usually) a two hour drive from Los Angeles. That’s the good news. The bad news is that to get there you may have to take the 405 freeway which is one of the most busy and congested highways in America. So when you get here, stay put for a while, enjoy the Oceanside pier and watch the surfers do their thing.  Also don’t forget your golf clubs... there are more than 90 golf courses close to the Oceanside area....some quite famous, almost all of them some are spectacular.Now the race.

The race originated as an Ironman event in 2000 and 2001 and completely held at Camp Pendleton, which is the major West Coast base of the US Marine Corp. The Camp has over 125,000 acres of varied terrain and 17.1 more miles of shoreline. But after 9/11, the race was turned into one of the first 70.3 events, due to the heightened security. Now, the bike portion is the only part of the race allowed within Camp Pendleton. But the city of Oceanside worked alongside Camp Pendleton to accommodate the race, going so far as to allow the one and only time of the year that anyone is allowed to swim in Oceanside Harbor.

The athletes will swim in Oceanside Harbor, cycle through San Clemente State Park and Camp Pendleton and run through Oceanside’s beachfront neighborhood. For an “Ocean Swim”, the water is generally somewhat calm but the swells can pick up at the turn around. The bike is really interesting since it combines stretches of flat at the beginning and the end that can be lightning fast with three pretty significant climbs in the middle. And the run is very spectator friendly since it is a two loop course through the neighborhoods.

We really like are the fact that CAF http://www.challengedathletes.org (one of our favorite organizations) is the official event charity for the race. Also half of the volunteer staff comes from units stationed at Camp Pendleton, so it truly a good time to give thanks to our men and women in the military community. On that note, we’ll just say this…”You haven’t really been cheered for until you’ve been cheered for by Marines.” They are…how shall we say it? Very motivating!

Once you’ve finished the race, we’d encourage you to stick around for a few days and enjoy the area. You have a lot of choices - LegoLand, Disneyland, Sea World, The San Diego Zoo, The Wildlife Animal Park or you can really go wild- head to Hollywood. Who knows, if you’re wearing your Coeur outfit, you may get “discovered”!

No matter what you do, we hope you enjoy the race. By the way, as of today, there are still Charity slots available. Oh...and let us know if you're racing Oceanside.  We'd love to cheer for you!


Reginald Holden