This is a preview of IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside – you can read the post-race reports from a thrilling finish in the men’s race, along with a dominant performance from Taylor Knibb for the Pro women.
A huge weekend of elite racing kicks off in North America later today (Saturday) with IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside 2022 in California.
With live streaming and a star-studded field – including a two-time Olympic champion, winners of the IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship plus World Triathlon Grand Finals – this is one not to miss. And you can watch it live…
Start time and how to watch live
The race takes place on Saturday 2 April 2022 with the opening 1.9km swim at Oceanside Harbour.
The Pro race will start at 0640 local time. That corresponds to 1440 in the UK, 1540 CET and 0940 Eastern Time.
The race will be broadcast live, with the event the first of 11 IRONMAN 70.3 events to be broadcast in 2022 in a new partnership with Outside TV. You will be able to watch for free via web, mobile or connected TV app.
As always, the ever reliable IRONMAN Tracker is the perfect data addition to support your viewing. If you haven’t got it on your phone already, where have you been?!
Where to start with this one?! Let’s kick off with the triathlon racing return of Alistair Brownlee. Not for the first time in his career, it’s been a long road back from injury and surgery for the two-time Olympic Champion.
This is far from an easy starter either – if he’s materially off of his best, then he will get exposed in this depth of field. That’s not a prospect which will worry Brownlee though, who has proven time and again his ability to bounce back, take on and beat the best.
Five weeks out from the IRONMAN World Championship in St George, and with the world watching, we’ll all have a much clearer picture on his Utah prospects by Saturday evening.
Lionel Sanders is no stranger to this race – he went 3rd / 1st / 1st / 2nd between 2015 and 2018 – and is on a similar road to Brownlee for the IRONMAN World Championship St George. Whatever happens during the swim and bike, he’s expecting this one to come down to the late stages of the run… and is very confident of where his form is at for that final discipline.
We assume he means in speed terms of course, since it’s unlikely that the ‘Lionel limp’ style will have left the building.
‘Horses for courses’ is typically a good form guide for most things, and so on that basis Ben Kanute must be a strong contender, having won the last two editions. He has already raced well this year – third at CLASH Miami – and will surely be better here as a result of that. He’s already said that Oceanside is an event he is excited for.
Sam Long, the winner in Miami, is on the start list but after his impressive start to the year he is seemingly set to skip this one and fully focus on prep for St. George. Jason West, who finished second in Miami (and was fifth last year), will race however. No thoughts of May 7 for him however.
Opening his season here will be Rudy Von Berg, who we spoke to at length earlier in the year. He also knows the race well, racing fifth in 2018 and second in 2019, and he is rarely far from the podium in any race. If he’s in contention in the late stages of the run too, watch out as he typically has an extra gear over the closing kilometres if needed.
Rudy is another athlete not thinking about St George – though he will make his full-distance debut at IRONMAN France later this year.
Add in Sam Appleton, Jackson Laundry, Matt Hanson, Andreas Dreitz, David McNamee, Bart Aernouts and more and you have what will be perhaps the deepest field we will see this side of St George.
Just as with the men’s race, we have both a stellar cast of talent and an intriguing mix with some athletes looking towards St George and others fully intent on spoiling their plans.
Daniela Ryf has five World Championship titles to her name over this distance, which in years past would make her the odds-on favourite for the win. She took top spot on the podium here in 2019.
Second to Laura Philipp at IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai earlier this month was a strong start to Daniela’s year, but not quite enough as yet to think she is back to her absolute brilliant and almost unbeatable best. Will this be another step towards that status? That is one of the most interesting sub-plots of this event.
We will see something new from Taylor Knibb this week – she’s got a TT bike! It’s not as though her road bike was seemingly holding her back in 2021 to be fair, where she earned a World Championship bronze medal in only her second 70.3 race start, as well as that impressive display at the Collins Cup. Oh, and an Olympic Games silver medal was pretty good too.
Still a youngster in triathlon terms, how will a bit more planning before that first race (and the new bike) impact her performance in 2022?
Just as with the men, we have the defending champion racing here in the shape of Canadian star Paula Findlay. She was in a class of her own on the bike in October, and reflecting back on that hugely impressive PTO 2020 Championship victory in December 2020, she is strong across all three disciplines. At her best, that makes her tough for anyone to beat.
Holly Lawrence (2017) and Heather Jackson (2015 and 2013) add to the previous winners set to race on Saturday, and both have multiple World Championship podium finishes on their records, Lawrence of course taking the IRONMAN 70.3 title in 2016.
Australia’s Ashleigh Gentle made seemingly light work of CLASH Miami recently as everyone around her was melting in the baking Florida heat, while Skye Moench was an impressive sixth at the 70.3 World Championship and Jackie Hering was just one place behind her in Utah. They will all add further quality to what should be a fantastic race.
That’s far from a complete list of podium contenders either – don’t miss it.
You can find the full Pro start list here.
Prize Money: What’s on the line?
The prize purse on offer this weekend is $50,000 – with each of the winners collecting a $7,500 share of that total
In addition to money, there will be a total of six qualifying slots (three MPRO / three FPRO) for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in St George in late October 2022.
The total funds will be paid eight-deep, as follows:
Of course, thanks to the formation of the Professional Triathletes Organisation, financial rewards from performance are not solely from on-the-day performances.
The PTO World Rankings will see a total of $2million awarded at the end of 2022, based up on the final standings in those points tables. The rewards there can be substantial, with a move up or down the rankings system potentially earning you more than any individual event.
IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside History
IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside has a long history. Up until 2001 the event was held entirely with the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base Camp, but following the events of 9/11 now only part of the bike course goes through the base for security reasons.
The first races were known as Half-Ironman California, as the 70.3 ‘brand’ was not created until 2005, leading into the first IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in 2006.
It’s also the race where F1 driver Jenson Button got disqualified for speeding!
Consistently seen as the first major event of the North American season, that is reflected in the list of previous winners. Olympic champions and medallists, IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 World champions and podium finishers dominate the roll of honour.
Another impressive start list is almost certain to see that quality maintained following the 2022 edition:
- 2021: Ben Kanute (USA) / Paula Findlay (CAN)
- 2020: No event
- 2019: Ben Kanute (USA) / Daniela Ryf (SUI)
- 2018: Jan Frodeno (GER) / Anne Haug (GER)
- 2017: Lionel Sanders (CAN) / Holly Lawrence (GBR)
- 2016: Lionel Sanders (CAN) / Heather Wurtele (CAN)
- 2015: Jan Frodeno (GER) / Heather Jackson (USA)
- 2014: Jan Frodeno (GER) / Heather Wurtele (CAN)
- 2013: Andy Potts (USA) / Heather Jackson (USA)
- 2012: Andy Potts (USA) / Melanie McQuaid (CAN)
- 2011: Andy Potts (USA) / Mirinda Carfrae (AUS)
- 2010: Michael Raelert (GER) / Mirinda Carfrae (AUS)
- 2009: Matt Reed (USA) / Mirinda Carfrae (AUS)
- 2008: Andy Potts (USA) / Erika Csomor (HUN)
- 2007: Andy Potts (USA) / Kate Major (AUS)
- 2006: Luke Bell (AUS) / Michellie Jones (AUS)
- 2005: Torbjorn Sindballe (DEN) / Samantha McGlone (CAN)
- 2004: Francois Chaubaud (FRA) / Michellie Jones (AUS)
- 2003: Tim DeBoom (USA) / Heather Fuhr (CAN)
- 2002: Torbjorn Sindballe (DEN) / Katja Schumacher (GER)