Oceanside 70.3 April 2nd 2016 Race Report Karyn Hoffman
First race of the 2016 season is in the books! We decided late to jump in to Oceanside 70.3. Having done this race the last couple years and enjoyed it, we found a way to get in post registration close. We then had to hope that the fabulous Pearl Izumi Folsom Bike Triathlon Kits would arrive in time to race this race in style. The great news was the kits arrived more than a week early and we were super excited to represent the best bike store in Northern California, Folsom Bike! In total we had three Folsom Bike Tri Team racers including myself, Scott Williams, Brian Skehan.
Getting the proper training in for this race is challenging due to the winter and no open water swimming. So just tracking the lane lines in the pool would have to do. Focused on runs and some mid distance cycling with some hills.
The race is on a Saturday morning, which is unusual for Ironman. We arrived on Thursday mid afternoon and immediately checked in and got our packets and scoped out the outdoor expo. It was sunny but pretty breezy. On Friday we had an opportunity to get the bike dialed doing a short ride along the run course. We also got in a run and took in the breath taking views of the ocean along THE STRAND. Got the transition bags together and ready for the morning. The only thing yet to do was to rack the bike at the marina which also was our T1 and T2. Being close to the marina, we rode over, racked our bikes, scoped out the buoys and walked back to the hotel. This would be the same walk we would be taking at about 5:30am on Saturday.
4am Saturday morning came quick, fueled, and walked over to the start with friends from the Sacramento area.
Swim: My swim start was not till 7:28am and one of the last wave starts. Reports said the water temp was 62 and the air around 48. Around 3,255 athletes registered in one of the most competitive races in IM70.3. The Pro field is the who’s who of IM.
All the to-dos were done and now it was time to get into my Wave 50-54. What’s cool about racing is that you make new friends and you see old friends. The gun went off at 6:40 for the Pro’s and every 3-minute after another group entered the water. This is a race with no warm up or practice swim. Just get into the ocean swim 50 meters to the buoy and go. That is what I did and the race was on. Felt relaxed and I always know I go from my weakest discipline to my best. I got into a rhythm and tried to not get hammered with elbows or fists. The water did get rough as the current was pushing you back. There was a lot of contact at the buoys. I only hoped that the sun would not blind me as I swam back to the finish, as that is one of the challenges with this race. Got to the ramp and wobbled out of the water to the long transition to the bike. 47:51 (2:01/100yds)
(Rank 50 AG /443 Gender/ 1783OA) My Garmin indicated that I got bonus yards, which is never good in the swim. 100 more than I paid for.
Bike: I quickly transitioned with a little fumbling. Got on my Folsom Bike Pearl Izumi Bike Jersey. Took off my toe warmers before I headed out of T1. It was going to be a warmer day than planned. The bike takes you immediately up a hill, which can be tricky. The majority of the bike is on Camp Pendleton, which makes this event very cool. Most of the volunteers are from the base. This gives you a great opportunity to thank those who are serving. The course is about 2,500 ft. of climbing with a couple steep long climbs. There is also an area that requires you to stay at 25mph or below or face being DQ’d. The result show many were! It is a descent in which there had been a fatality several years ago. I felt pretty good on the bike and around 12 miles in, Scott Williams caught me on the bike. It was great to see him in his sleek Folsom Bike jersey. We chatted quickly and went back and forth. Being I am slow on the swim I need every minute to close the gaps. Scott sprinted off and I would not see him again until transition. I paced well and worked to keep my cadence up. I did catch one of my “friends” in my AG around mile 25. I was surprised and it fueled my fire! Healthy competitive spirit and this is a race right? My goal was to stay under 3 hours.
Goal met 2:59:58-18.67MPH. (22AG/208Gender/1160OA)
Run: When I arrived to T2, I saw Scott in transition getting ready for the run. Quickly chatted and he told me to get moving. I did and sensed I need to catch a few runners. I felt good after catching the “friend” and then putting on the after burners. This is a two-loop course and it is very spectator friendly. The sun was beating down and there was a breeze. I got in a zone and I saw I was passing people left and right. I ran happy. Is there any other way? Between miles 5-6 I saw Scott on the other side around 5 minutes behind me. I cheered him on while I continued to run. My pace was around 8:20 thru 6 miles. There are a couple of short steep climbs but the majority of the course is flat. I continued to push and slowed slightly after mile 9. I smelled the barn and readied myself for the finish. My fueling was good so I knew I would cross the line happy. I entered the finish shoot and could hear my name. 1:52:05 was my run split keeping me in top 10 for the run in AG.
5:51:10 was my finish. While I always want a podium, this placed me 16th in AG despite a PR on this course by 1:10 (2015) and 3:00 over (2014). AG (16/121) (859/3255 OA). The AG in OC70.3 keeps getting tougher.
Super proud to be representing Folsom Bike Triathlon and look forward to my next event.