Ironman Triathlon Highlights
Ironman 70.3 California takes place in Oceanside, CA, the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and the surrounding area. The race features a sheltered 1.2 mile swim in Oceanside Harbor, followed by a challenging 56-mile bike course through the Marine Corps Base that is considered one of the most scenic in Ironman racing. The beautiful 13.1-mile run course follows the ocean and beach in Oceanside.
For kids, the IronKids California Fun Run will race around the Oceanside Pier and cross the same finish line as the Ironman athletes!. Athletes between the ages of 3 and 15 are invited to participate in the great event
Oceanside, California offers triathletes a chance to race in the region that birthed the sport in the early 1970s in Mission Bay. Oceanside is located at the northern end of San Diego’s North County, which includes the beach communities of Del Mar, Cardiff, Encinitas, and Carlsbad—home to surf, triathlon, and beach culture. Just half an hour south lies San Diego, with its world-famous zoo, parks, and other attractions to fill a spring break vacation. Just two hours away from the local mountains, skiing and snowboarding are other options.
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.
The bike course takes cyclists along the California coastline to San Clemente, before dropping down into the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Here, challenging hills confront athletes before they swing back to the Oceanside Pier—one of the longest fishing piers in California.
The run portion takes athletes on a winding journey along the pier, and then 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 out for a grand finish at the ocean’s edge and a chute lined with energetic spectators.
More than half of the race volunteers come from units at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. The presence of so many men and women serving in the U.S. Marine Corps is always a source of pride for race participants.
Ironman Race Courses
1.2 Mile Swimming Course
The swim starts and finishes at the boat ramp in the southwest quadrant of Oceanside Harbor and goes in a counter-clockwise direction. The course is one loop and begins by paralleling the west side dock, angles left toward the mouth of the harbor, and turns around where it meets the Boat Basin entrance. The course follows the same layout as it returns. Transition 1 is located in the parking lot that starts at the boat ramp and goes north.
The best place to view the swim is around the transition area.
56-Mile Bike Course
Begins at Oceanside Harbor, goes north into Camp Pendleton up to Christianitos Road, then loops back, finishing at the harbor.
The best place to watch the bike course is, again in transition. The bike course goes through Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, which is closed to the public.
13.1 Mile Run Course
Begins at Oceanside Harbor, goes south along The Strand and Pacific Street. Loops back just south of Eaton Street and finishes at the harbor.
The run couse follows the beach and coastal neighborhoods which are both open to spectators.