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IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside: Start times, preview and how to watch live

Short course stars Taylor Knibb (USA) and Jelle Geens (BEL) are the heavy favourites for this weekend's IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside.

Staff Reporter
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This was our preview of IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside 2024 – you can read full reports on how Lionel Sanders and Taylor Knibb claimed brilliant victories in the first races of the new IRONMAN Pro Series.

It is finally race week for the first time in the 2024 IRONMAN Pro Series, as the action kicks off in California at the iconic IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside this weekend.

Historically, the best in middle distance have opened their seasons at this event, with past winners including the likes of two-time IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion Taylor Knibb and five-time IRONMAN World Champion Jan Frodeno.

This season, Knibb returns to SoCal and will be joined by several other world class athletes on the start list. Keep reading to find out who she will be up against, how you can watch the race unfold and start times for the pro fields in our preview below.

Start times and how to watch live

Racing in Oceanside will take place on Saturday April 6. The event, which starts at the harbour, will see the men race first, with the gun going off at 06:40 local time (PST).

In Europe, this corresponds to 15:40 CET, with the race starting at 14:40 in the UK for British viewers tuning in. On the East Coast, the professional race will begin at 09:40 ET.

The race will be broadcast live, with the event the first race this year to be broadcast on the dedicated IRONMAN Pro Series app. You will be able to watch for free on race day and we will embed the live stream here.

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?!

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Pro Men

Wearing the #1 bib in the men’s race is former champion Jackson Laundry of Canada, who will be starting his season in California with the ambition of finishing on a third consecutive podium at the event, after winning in 2022 and taking third in 2023.

Lionel Sanders IRONMAN 70.3 Oregon Results 2023
Lionel Sanders takes victory at IRONMAN 70.3 Oregon 2023 (Donald Miralle for IRONMAN).

Joining Laundry from the Great White North is fan favourite Lionel Sanders, another former champion, with the two-time IRONMAN World Championship second place finisher looking to rediscover his form of old following a disappointing season in 2023.

Patrick Lange, who won the world title in Kona ahead of Sanders back in 2017, races in Oceanside for the first time this weekend. Second at the IRONMAN World Championship in Nice last season, the German has the run speed to challenge everyone for the win on Saturday.

A veteran of the sport at 37-years-old, Lange is joined on the start list by two other seasoned racers, Braden Currie and Joe Skipper. This trio, untested at the top middle distance races in recent years, will hope to surprise the up and coming younger generation in California.

Representing the Stars and Stripes, Sam Long, who was second at the Miami T100 in March, is perhaps one of the most talked about athletes in this field. The brash Boulder native, who clawed his way back up the field in Florida, will face some beating.

Jelle Geens in transition: WTCS Abu Dhabi 2022
Jelle Geens in transition: WTCS Abu Dhabi 2022 (Photo Credit: Wagner Araujo / World Triathlon)

Finally, from the short course scene, Belgian rocket Jelle Geens has been tipped by many as the dark horse for this event and given his prowess on the swim, bike and run, it’s easy to see why. Packing speed as well as skill, the Olympian will look to take the race to Long and co on the bike and run.

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Pro Women

In the women’s race, the question really comes down to this – can anyone stop Knibb? The reigning world champion and Olympic medalist has already qualified for the Games in Paris this year and is tipped to reclaim her 2022 Oceanside title from Tamara Jewett on Saturday.

IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside 2022: Taylor Knibb winning
Photo Credit: Donald Miralle / IRONMAN

Jewett, who ran her way to victory last season, will hope she can compete with Knibb and claim back-to-back titles. However, after a DNF at the Miami T100 last month, there are question marks over her form coming into this race.

Other contenders for the podium, with the ability to compete for the win on a good day, are serial middle distance winners Paula Findlay and Emma Pallant-Browne. Findlay finished fourth in Florida last month, whilst EPB was another DNF and last week suffered a crash in training.

If Findlay, Jewett or Pallant-Browne falter, they could open the door to the likes of Fenella Langridge, Grace Thek and Maja Stage Nielsen, who are all outside contenders for the Top 3.

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.

As part of the IRONMAN Pro Series, athletes will also earn points as they seek to become the IRONMAN Pro Series Champion and win a share of the $1.7 million bonus prize purse.

In Oceanside, the maximum possible score will be 2,500 points for 1st place, with points for all remaining professional finishers diminishing based on the time deficit to first place, at a rate of 1 point per 1 second deficit to the winner’s finishing time.

In addition to money and series points, there will be a total of six qualifying slots (three MPRO / three FPRO) for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Taupō, New Zealand, December 14-15 2024.

The total funds will be paid eight-deep, as follows:

  1. $7,500
  2. $5,000
  3. $3,750
  4. $3,000
  5. $2,000
  6. $1,500
  7. $1,250
  8. $1,000
Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.

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