I haven’t blogged in a while. For the most part, I just don’t feel like I’ve had a lot to blog about. Gloria and I are into the build phase of our Ironman Texas prep. We are excited this year to compete together in an Ironman and we are thrilled to do so as part of the Wattie Ink Elite Team. When we opted for Texas, however, we decided to pass on Ironman 70.3 California and Wildflower Long Course. Coming off a broken foot, I think it proved a wise choice. Still, I can’t help but get excited for this race, for my Wattie team mates who are racing, and for triathlon season.
Oceanside has come to mark the beginning of triathlon season in North America. The race has tons of energy, with athletes ready to unleash pent-up off-season energy and a run course filled with spectators, cheering, and support. On top of that, most of the race events, like the expo, pro panel, awards, and other events, take place at the Oceanside Pier, right on the beach, and much of the race course passes along the ocean. Even last year, when the weather turned cold, wet, and miserable, we both had great races and a great time.
Oceanside’s professional race consistently brings some of the top Ironman and half-Ironman athletes and this year is no exception. Two years ago, Andy Potts fought Rasmus Henning for a close finish and Miranda Carfrae edged out Heather Jackson. Andy Potts is back, having dominated this race in at least four of the last six years. In one of those years he passed when he and his wife welcomed a new baby into their family. Matty Reed, the only athlete who has beaten Potts at Oceanside in the last six years, returns as well. However, both will have a run for their money. Other competitors include Tim O’Donnell, Fredereick Van Lierde, Luke Mckenzie, Jesse Thomas, Trevor Wurtele, Brandon Marsh, and Wattie Ink. athlete Ben Hoffman. Of the contenders, my money is on either Potts of O’Donnell. For the women, last year’s champion Melanie Mcquaid is back as well, but so is Wattie Ink. Heather Jackson, in addition to Miranda Carfrae, Heather Wurtele, Beth Walsh, Rachel Joyce, Amy Marsh, and Lindsey Corbin. Leslie Paterson, another Wattie Ink. athlete, joins the mix as well, and while she is known more for X-Terra racing, but Melanie McQuaid’s win last year shows that X-Terra athletes are strong contenders. Heather Jackson, coming off a win a Alcatraz, clearly has strong early season fitness and has proven herself on this course, but with such a competitive field of women there are no easy picks.
Oceanside 70.3 is widely considered one of the best Ironman 70.3 races in the series. The early season timing is challenging for some, but it’s early season for everyone. If you haven’t done this race before, I highly recommend it. It filled up a long time ago, but keep an eye out for when registration opens and do not hesitate, because it fills up fast. For all of our Wattie teammates racing this weekend, and for our friends Andrea Verstegen and her boyfriend Roberto, both of whom are racing in their first half-Ironman, embrace your inner fierceness and trust your training. When you jump into that freezing cold harbor, when you hit that steep grade at about mile 36, or when your legs are screaming to quit on that last stretch of the run, smack it down, because Honey Badger don’t care.