OCEANSIDE — The Surftech RSP3 brought a day of running, swimming and paddling competitions to Oceanside Pier July 17. An estimated 600 competitors took part in one or more of the races to win bragging rights and iconic surf monkey trophies.
“It’s a fun family ocean event that caters to everybody not just paddlers and runners,” Roch Frey, race director and race owner said. “It’s unique in that it’s not just for the elite athlete. There is a wide range of abilities.”
“There is something for everyone,” Paul Huddle, race director, said. “Every member of the family can compete in one of the three events and no one needs to feel left out.”
Races included a challenging one-mile open water swim, 5K run, and six-mile paddleboard race. There was also a one-mile adult run, one-mile kids’ run, and a stand up paddleboard sprint.
“It’s a unique event with run, swim, paddle competition,” Dan Van Dyck, the swim and paddle course director, said.
The Surftech RSP3 is one of a few multisport events to include paddleboarding. The sport of paddleboarding has been around since the 1950s and took hold as a competitive sport about 10 years ago.
“Our goal as event organizers is to create a community celebration of the healthy, athletic lifestyle we enjoy as residents of North County San Diego,” Van Dyck said.
The race day was geared for healthy competition and family fun. “To involve more kids we added a one-mile run,” Van Dyck said.
Five-year-old Mai Plsek was one of the runners competing in the kids’ one-mile race. “We’ll probably walk today,” Ren Plsek, of Solana Beach, said. “My husband is doing the paddle race.”
In addition to races there was also a sports and fitness expo with an inflatable bounce house, food, music, and sports gear and fitness venders.
Weather conditions at Oceanside Pier were pristine for the races. “It’s perfect conditions today,” Frey said. “It’s blown out and rough for paddlers, but paddlers like that. It was cloud covered for the 5K. It’s slightly hot for the mile, but it’s only a mile.”
This is the fifth year the Surftech RSP3, formerly called the Surf Monkey, and has been held at Oceanside Pier. Due to the popularity of the multisport event a second competition is schedule in Tempe, Arizona, October 1. “Next year we’ll add two to three different locations in the Southwest,” Frey said.