Monday, April 16, 2018

Dan Aamodt is aat it Aagain!

For the past several years, Dan Aamodt was the head of TriUtah. But with Brogg Sterrett now at the reins, Dan has a little more time for his own racing. Dan recently toed the line at Oceanside 70.3, and we reached out to get his report!

Before we get there, make sure to check out TriUtah's new site... Women of Steel kicks things off May 12th, then East Canyon, Echo, Jordanelle, and Brineman (State Champs) ALL qualified - thanks to your participation last season - to be in the inaugural Utah Triathlon Championship Series. Should be fun!

It’s amazing to me how many people from Utah always attend the Oceanside 70.3 event. But, then again, who can argue with Southern California in April! 2018 was my first time participating in Oceanside. I have always used the “it’s too early in the year” excuse, so this was new for me.

Oceanside boasts amazing beach scenery with a beautiful swim in the Oceanside Harbor. Before race start, I noticed a handful of Sea Lions hanging out on the boat docs across from the starting line, oblivious to the over 2000 athletes who were about to enter the 62 degree Pacific Ocean. I was excited - race organizers had changed the swim to a beach start this year and I was looking forward to “dolphining” through the surf. However, with 6 feet surf forecasted for race day, the organizers decided to revert back to the original swim course inside the harbor. Many athletes were happy for the change; I was a little bummed out. The swim is a counter clockwise “J” shaped swim protected by the harbor barriers. I didn’t notice much swell in the harbor, and enjoyed the buoyancy of the salt water as we all cruised to the turn around. Once we hit the turn around, the sun was right in our eyes. So, rather than swimming outside of the pack, I settled in with a group near me and let them do the navigating, keeping myself parallel to the shore.

Dan nervously awaiting the swim start

One thing about Oceanside is the transition is long and narrow. Upon exiting the water, athletes run along the edge of transition for what seems like forever, to the far north corner of transition. Exiting transition on bikes, athletes can smell the artistic aroma of the dozens of porta-toilets nestled on the edges of the course.

The bike course is now one of my favorite 70.3 bike courses. Being a slower cyclist, I was intimidated by comments of how hard the hills were in Camp Pendleton. I found them refreshing, challenging, and fun to descend! Note to anyone new to Oceanside: The hills are tough, but not as bad as people say. The entire bike course is a thrill - mostly because of the hundreds of US Marines volunteering on the course. There’s nothing quite like riding past young soldiers with their automatic weapons over their shoulders, managing intersections for the athletes. OO-RAH! 

The two-loop run is relatively flat with a couple of small inclines and descents. I particularly enjoyed running along the boardwalk right next to the ocean. Hearing the waves crash on the shore and glancing at surfers doing their thing, with the neighbors blasting a variety music distracted me from the pains of running 13.1 miles after swimming 1.2 miles and biking 56 miles. On the run course, I noticed a lot of Utah participants and was greeted by Shane and Meagan Johnson, and Perry Hacker! Stephanie Shew passed me on the run saying “go get it”. I’m still trying to figure out what exactly I’m supposed to get, and if I actually got it. Nonetheless, the finish-line emerged and was energetic and loud with Mike Reilly announcing the finishers. I’m proud to say I am once again a “Half-Ironman”!

Ironman always does a great job with finisher medals, post-race food, and amazing expo packed with sponsors. One thing I particularly liked was the finish-line bag Ironman gave to each athlete to use for personal items at the finish. It felt fantastic to take off my running shoes, throw on my flip flops and a clean smelling shirt, and hang out for a while.

In summary, Oceanside 70.3 is a fantastic event, with all three disciplines offering up great courses. 2018 offered up perfect weather conditions, amazing volunteers, and a fun, challenging course! I’ll be back next year for sure! If you haven’t yet raced Oceanside 70.3, and are considering it, I recommend you give it a shot!

Keep the rubber on the road -

Danny Aamodt

TriUtah lineup for 2018

Related Posts

TriUtah II: The Aamodt Era

TriUtah III: New TriUtah Owner Brogg Sterrett

Utah Triathlon Championship Series

No comments:

Post a Comment