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2013-03-30 Oceanside IronMan Race Report by Jesse Moore and Arthur Gamirov

First, the report by Arthur:

Hi Team,

I had a great experience racing the Oceanside half-Ironman this weekend near Camp Pendleton, CA. The conditions were perfect with cloud cover early in the morning and  both water and air temperatures in high 50s early in the morning. The swim was inside a protected marina / bay area and waves were not an issue. Had a minor mishap prior to the race start as I realized I didn’t have my timing chip on me with about 30 seconds before the start of my wave. Had to run back to my bike and morning gear back to retrieve it from my jacket and ended up starting about 90 seconds late. I normally start in the back as swimming is by far my weakest part of the race so I wasn’t worried too much about it, except for the fact that it would take less time for the next wave(s) to run me over. The only negative thing about the race is how crowded it was (I believe around 2500 participants) and it was a bit of an issue around the turns in the water and on the bike course.

Got out of the water in 41:30 and proceeded to start the bike. Breezed through the first half of the race with ease since it was relatively flat with a few minor hills and turns.  Was feeling pretty good about the race by that point but then the hills started around mile 29 and the rollercoaster continued nearly non-stop through miles 40-42. Riding through that section also coincided with the clouds clearing and winds picking up. Overall the bike course is excellent, showcasing the natural beauty of the area this time of the year. Finished the bike in 2:56, my personal best time.

The run is two-loops around along the ocean and the streets of Oceanside, CA, mostly flat with a few sharp hills.The heat and humidity were starting to affect many participants by now but it wasn’t unbearable, maybe low 70s. Volunteer support is both along the run and bike course was exceptional.  Finished the run in 1:28, also personal best.

I was excited to try out our new TC kit uniforms and got recognition from a few fellow Sacramento-area athletes during the bike race.

Finish time: 5:18:51
Target time: 5:15

Missed the target but still very satisfied with the time in the first race of the season. Could probably been right on target if not for a couple of mistakes (forgetting the chip and having to reattach the race number to the front of the kit at the start of the run since I don’t like wearing number belts – could have had it on both sides from the start). Will continue to work on my swimming and transition times with the goal of breaking 5 hours by the end of the season.

This is my favorite race in the IM 70.3 series so far that I’ve done (others: Mooseman New Hampshire 2011 and Mallorca Spain 2012), it is both relatively fast and very scenic. I would very highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fast time and a good trip to Southern California in early Spring. Even though I am trying to race more locally I will most likely be signing up for this one again as soon as the registration opens (I believe it was in September-October last year).
Let me know if you have any questions, see you on the trails!

From Jesse Moore:

Nice job out there Arthur and congrats on the Bike and Run PR’s.  Wish I’d known you were going to be down there.  Would have been good to know to look out for you on course.

Arthur summed up the courses and weather.  Pretty much perfect and exactly what I imagined triathlon weather to be like when I took this sport up.  The wave start swim and protected marina is really nice for those of us who struggle with the swim and don’t need 2000 other people reinforcing that fear all at once.  Downside of the wave start is of course the amount of bike traffic you have to work through if you have a strong bike leg.  Early on there was a lot of waiting to pass and it felt more like criterium racing on a bike path than tri racing. I was glad to find more space in the second half of the course so I could actually take in the view more and give my “on your left” a rest.  The run was scenic and the crowds were great. I was happy because I finally got to run the whole half marathon instead of walking portions with the side stitches that plagued me in last year’s races.  As it turns out, running the whole thing makes you more competitive and I was able to snag the last Vegas spot by about 16″. Little did I know, but I was being run down by several guys.  Amazing how fast these people can run at the end of these things!  Overall I had a great time down there and would also recommend the race to others.

Sounds like the 2013 season is off to a good start.  I think the floodgates are about to open on a lot of racing for TC.  Looking forward to reading all about it.

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