Race Preview: Oceanside 70.3

Race Preview: Oceanside 70.3

The Ironman Pro Series kicks off this weekend at the iconic Oceanside 70.3, an event that has been a staple of the 70.3 calendar since the inaugral event in 2002. Over the years, some of the finest triathletes have claimed titles. The most prolific of these has been HUUB's Andy Potts (USA), who won the event a record 6 times. Also among the winners have been Jan Frodeno (GER), Lionel Sanders (CAN), Mirinda Carfrae (AUS), Anne Haug (GER), Daniela Ryf (SUI) and Heather Jackson (USA), to name just a few.

The start lists for the 2024 edition are simply staggering and feature over 120 Pros across the men's and women's races, which will almost certainly break the record for the biggest PRO field at a 70.3 event. Although Oceanside is a popular event amongst AG and PRO, its inclusion in the newly formed Ironman Pro Series has added to its popularity and signals that the series has been given high priority for a number of athletes.

The men's race features a mixture of short-course, middle-distance, and full-distance athletes. Some will be testing the waters over the 70.3 distance, and some will be using this as a warm-up for Ironman Texas. All in all, we will see some interesting race dynamics as the race plays out and athletes' strengths come to the fore.

Sam Long (USA) goes in with known form after his impressive 2nd place at T100 Miami last month, which saw him bike and run through most of the field. Patrick Lange (GER) is never one to write off. The 2-time Ironman World Champion will deliver one of the quickest runs and will be a favourite if he is in contention after the bike. Other athletes to look out for are the Canadian duo of Lionel Sanders and Jackson Laundry, and HUUB's Jelle Geens (BEL), who boasts the quickest 70.3 half marathon run split in the field and will be up at the front of the race from the start.

The women's race will be a three-way battle between the last three winners: Paula Findlay (CAN), Taylor Knibb (USA), and Tamara Jewett (CAN). Knibb, whose primary focus for 2024 will be the Paris Olympic Games, will see this as an early opportunity to validate her spot for the 70.3 World Championships in Taupo, where she will be looking to defend her title.

There is very little doubt she will only be looking to 'tick the box' for validation, and we will see her try to repeat her start-to-finish victory as she did in 2022. Findlay and Jewett won't be the only ones looking to take the 70.3 crown away from Knibb. The British pair of Fenella Langridge and Emma Pallant-Browne will be in the mix at the head of the race, and there is potential for us to see some athletes working together in race tactics.

Ironman 70.3 Oceanside will be free to view streamed live on Outside Watch, starting at 06:00 local time.