Race Preview – Ironman 70.3 Oceanside

Ironman 70.3 Oceanside, is a favourite among the pros thanks to its beautiful setting and great course. Thanks to the race’s popularity, Ironman 70.3 Oceanside is one of the most competitive triathlon in the world, outside of a world championship.
Jan Frodeno said

I really missed not racing in Oceanside last year. I always enjoy the energy around the event, it seems like the unspoken awakening of tri hibernation—even though it’s a round-the-world-trip for me.


Ironman 70.3 Oceanside Swim

This race offers the only chance athletes have to swim in the calm, protected Oceanside Harbor, where water temperatures in early spring are usually in the low to mid 60’s.

Ironman 70.3 Oceanside Bike

Strava distance: 89.3 km
Elevation difference: 228m
QOM 2:32:25 28 Mar 2015 – Kait Curbeau
KOM 2:05:54 28 Mar 2015 – Jesse Thomas
Elevation: 278m



The bike course takes cyclists along the California coastline to San Clemente, before dropping down into the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Get ready for some hill riding as the course is known for its challenging inclines. On the way back to the Oceanside Harbor, cyclists will get some speed up before T2.


Ironman 70.3 Oceanside Run

Strava distance: 21.2km
Elevation in Strava: 14m
The run portion takes athletes on a winding journey out to Oceanside’s flat beachfront path known as “The Strand,” where miles of sandy beaches provide a beautiful and distracting vista. Runners then turn into a residential area before looping back to finish at the ocean’s edge and a chute lined with shouting spectators sure to spur everyone on to the end.



IRONMAN Oceanside 70.3 Course Rating: 02:17
Race Adjustments:
2016 Overall: 00:29
Swim: 00:11
Bike: 01:46
Run: 00:42
Number of Finishers: 58 of 66
Rating: 01:05
Swim rating: 00:32
Bike rating: 01:29
Run rating: 00:45
Important Info P-1500
70.3 California is a P-750 race. It has a total prize purse of $50.000 US.


Who’s tipped to win

Jan Frodeno, Kona champion and all-round incredible triathlete, is tipped to win this year after missing the event last year due to injury.. Last year’s winner, Lionel Sanders, is also in with a great chance for the top of the podium but it’s unlikely he’ll be able to beat Frodeno. From there, the race could be anyone’s with Andy Potts, Joe Gambles and Nick Kastelein all in with a solid chance. Andreas Dreitz, who came second last year after an impressive performance, is in for a chance at the podium again this year.

  • Jan Frodeno: 59% (1-1)
  • Lionel Sanders: 24% (3-1)
  • Andy Potts: 5% (20-1)
  • Joe Gambles: 3% (29-1)
  • Nick Kastelein: 3% (30-1)
  • Andreas Dreitz: 3% (30-1)

Holly Lawrence is one of the top women of triathlon at the moment, and is tipped to win, although her competition at Ironman 70.3 California is fierce. Previous winner Heather Jackson, is also in with a chance, as is Heather Wurtele and Meredith Kessler. Aussie Ellie Salthouse might get a moment on the podium as she’s in top form, but with such a competitive women’s field, it will be anyone’s race.

  • Holly Lawrence: 38% (2-1)
  • Heather Wurtele: 30% (2-1)
  • Heather Jackson: 16% (5-1)
  • Meredith Kessler: 6% (15-1)
  • Rachel Joyce: 5% (19-1)
  • Ellie Salthouse: 4% (27-1)

Who won last year?

Canada’s Lionel Sanders won last year in a hugely competitive field, but it may have been thanks to Frodeno being injured. Jan Frodeno won in 2014, 2015. Frodeno’s still holds the record from 2015, finishing in 3:47:08, so he’s the one to beat.
Oceanside has been a battle between the ‘Heathers,’ with Canada’s Heather Wurtele winning in 2014, Heather Jackson winning in 2015, and Wurtele winning again in 2016. Wurtele currently holds the course record from 2014, finishing in 4:13:12. Wurtele and Jackson are both competing again in 2017, and are both in the running for the top spot.


Who holds the records?

Frodeno and Wurtele hold the course records from the years 2015 and 2014 respectively. Unsurprisingly, Jan Frodeno and Heather Wurtele hold the fastest run times too, placing them in great stead for 2017. It’s interesting to note Holly Lawrence holds the record for the fastest bike split from 2015, finishing with a bike time of 2:19:58, which could get her to one of the top spots on the podium.

Event Info

Why is Oceanside unique?

Frodeno told Ironman: ”Oceanside is unique because no one ever gets to go on the whole course. It’s race day only and nice to see the community give us the access. The run is also pretty cool along the beachfront; you get to be a tourist and racer at the same time.”

Ironman 70.3 California weather

Get your wetsuits ready, the water temperature at the beautiful Oceanside Harbour is usually around 15 degrees in March.


– Data sourced with permission from trirating.com

Shawn Smith

A cyclist and tech geek at heart with a passion for new shiny things and a huge appetite for triathlon. I spend most of my time between managing two of Australia's best triathletes and a traditional corporate life.