Kimberly Blough 6:28 p.m., March 9
The California Ironman 70.3 was held in Oceanside this last weekend. The 70.3 designator stands for the sum of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, and a 13.1 mile run. These distances represent half the Ironman.
The California Ironman has become the unofficial start of the North America triathlon season. There was a deep field of professional athletes competing for a $50,000 purse and points to qualify for the Ironman World Championships at both the Ironman and 70.3 distances.
Andy Potts of the U.S. won for the fourth time and Canada’s Melanie McQuaid was the women’s champion.
For amateurs, commonly known as “age groupers”, there were 30 qualifying spots for the Ironman World Championships 70.3 later this year in Nevada.
Just how popular is this race? It is sold out every year. The entry costs from $300-$325 for general registration. Registration for next year’s event should open up some time in June.
The California 70.3 is an appealing course. The 1.2 mile swim is one lap of the Oceanside Harbor which offers relatively calm water. The bike ride is through the hills of Camp Pendleton and the run is through coastal neighborhoods.