The Coast News Group
Ironman race challengers exit the harbor and head to Camp Pendleton. The annual race will now carry the city's name. File photo by Promise Yee
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Triathlon name changed to Ironman 70.3 Oceanside

OCEANSIDE — After serving as home to the Ironman 70.3 race for 14 years, Oceanside will add its city name to the international event.

Leslee Gaul, Visit Oceanside president and CEO, said it’s significant for Oceanside to have its name associated with the worldwide brand.

The Ironman race brings over 2,800 athletes to the city, and generates significant visitor spending and higher hotel stays than any other event. Athletes usually come with a party of four and often extend their stays prior to and after the race.

The annual event has a positive $3.9 million economic impact on the city.

It is also a family friendly event that promotes a healthy, active lifestyle, which agrees with how the city markets itself.

The City Council approved a five year agreement with World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) last Wednesday, which includes the name change of the 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, and 13.1 run.

The city is responsible to provide the venue, fire, police and lifeguard services, and parks and harbor maintenance for the race at a cost of $47,300.

WTC reimburses the city $15,000 for parking and a portion of overtime costs, which drops city expenses to $32,300.

The bulk of the race takes place within the harbor. The harbor swim begins before sunrise, followed by the bike race that takes off from the harbor, rides through Camp Pendleton and returns to the harbor. The final challenge is the run that also begins at the harbor and ends on The Strand.

A concern of the Harbor and Beaches Advisory Committee is that not all harbor costs are recovered from the event, which impacts boating activity.

Currently all monies go into a city general fund.

Gaul said all in all the event is a good fit for the city, and an opportunity for local businesses.

During the City Council meeting Councilman Jerry Kern responded to the committee’s comment, and said the event is a benefit to the harbor.