Sunday, April 23, 2017

Everything You Need to Know about Oceanside 70.3

Oceanside 70.3  What you need to know:

Set in the quaint town of Oceanside, California, you know you've arrived when you see the distant surfers catching waves in the breathtakingly beautiful Pacific Ocean.  The breezy salt air will kiss your face as you get out of your car and walk to the Junior Seau Amphitheater, where the expo is held.  Don't miss walking the pier to Ruby's Diner, where you'll get to admire this visual from a different perspective -- fishermen, blowing kites, waves and sandy beaches.  Ahhh, Oceanside!

A few things you may need to know as a first timer:

TWO TRANSITION ZONES Head to the expo without your bike.  After you pick up your race packet, you have time to get out for a quick spin on your ride to double check any mechanical issues that may have arisen on it's journey to the event.  The transition zone with the bike rack is about 1/2 mile from the expo.  Before you head off to drop the bike, make sure you have your stickers in place on the bike frame.  They won't allow you into the transition zone without these in place.  You can put a plastic bag over your seat if that is your thing, as your bike will be spending the night in the transition zone.

SWIM  The swim in 2017 was a self seeded swim.  You placed yourself with swimmers who had similar swim finish times as you.  The clock started when you jumped into the water.  No mass starts here.  This was a bonus for me.  But some swimmers were a little disheveled when they couldn't find their right "time groups".  Some were quite near the front and if you were a latecomer, you had to fight your way through the crowds to get where you needed to be.

The swim is mostly in a protected marina, which keeps the waters fairly calm.  About halfway out, you hit the high seas, but then it's a quick turn around to the boats and docks, where the waters calm down and you can finish strong!

BIKE  Don't let the elevation profile fool you, this course has LOTS of hills.  And not just the big ones at mile 28 and 31. Be prepared for those steep climbs, but also be prepared for rollers the rest of the time on the bike.  Prepare wisely with lots of hill training.  The terrain is spectacular and Camp Pendleton has some of the most majestic views you'll ever see of the California coastline.  The flatest part of the bike is in the last five miles, where you can get into your aero bars and really gain some speed.  But don't forget about the speed bumps and hairpin turns you encountered on your way out, they will slow you down a bit as you enter T2.  

RUN   Rollers, rollers and more rollers.  Get ready for a challenging run that meanders it's way through the famous beach houses of So. Cal.  The bonus for this course is that the spectators fully embrace and support this race.  You'll never run too far without a cheer or shout out from a friendly fan.  Music is blasting from audio systems inside and outside the homes, lending to a festive atmosphere to keep you smiling as you endure this long, sweaty run.  Again, hill work is great prep for this race.  The course is an out-and-back twice situation.  So you can gauge yourself against your competitors as you pass them or they pass you on the run.  The last mile of the run veers off into a finishing chute which is a welcome site after your day of endurance.

FINISH LINE  I love the amphitheater where finishers are directed to sit and recover post race.  It's an easy place to meet up with your supports as a "see-and-be-seen" meeting spot.  The food for the athletes has always been top notch.  And once you're out of the finish line madness, you can spread out to hydrate and recover.

Add this to your race calendar if you've never done this race.  It's a good one.  You'll leave happy after a hard day's work.  Sunset dinner at a beachside cafe is a perfect way to top off your stay in Oceanside.  It even cools off enough to don the famous California style:  hoodie and shorts.   XOXO California.  You're always in my heart.

Que lindo es sonar despierto.
How lovely it is to dream while you are awake.

Dreams That Have Come True