OCEANSIDE, Calif. --
More than 2,400 Marines and civilians dove into the Oceanside harbor to emerge from the cold Pacific water1.2-miles later, marking the start of the 14th annual Ironman 70.3 Oceanside Calif. triathlon March 30.
“This is our most popular 70.3 in the U.S.,” said Roch Frey, the director of operations for Ironman. “I think a major aspect to this race, which makes it so popular, is being able to ride through the base.”
The competitor’s 56-mile bicycle journey through base started at the Del Mar gate, continued North through Cristianitos and followed Basilone Road back to Vandegrift Boulevard.
“The athletes love seeing all the Marine volunteers help at the event,” Frey said. “It’s pretty special to have the military support the athletes.”
Frey said five free entries are provided for Marines on base, as well as an additional 50 paying entries for last minute Marine competitors as an act of appreciation.
“The riding is amazing on base and with the congestion in southern California we don’t have many open spaces to safely hold a 56 to 112-mile bike ride,” said Frey. “We approached the base back in 2000 and worked out an agreement allowing us to hold the bike portion on base. We just resigned an agreement for an additional 3 years.”
Andy Potts, the overall first place winner from Colorado Springs, Colo., pedaled through base in 2-hours, 15-minutes and 10-seconds, adding in his four previous 1st place victory here with a finishing time of 3:49:45.
“The name of the game is 70.3, as fast as you can go, and I knew it wasn’t over until I crossed the line,” Potts said. “I never stopped fighting to the finish line.”
Volunteers awarded finishers with medals after crossing the finish line.
“I’m a catcher,” said Crystal Cavanagh, a volunteer at the triathlon. “When the athletes are stumbling we catch them to help
them through the line.”
Cavanagh continued to say “it’s great to give back, and these athletes are so motivating.”
“They are amazing and very inspiring,” said Danielle Harmon, in support of her brother, Bryan Rocha, a competitor.
Marines interested in participating in next year’s Oceanside Triathlon can contact Frey at Roch@ironman.com
For more information Ironman visit Ironman.com
and for race results visit Ironman.com/triathlon
Contact Cpl. Sarah Wolff-Diaz at firstname.lastname@example.org