Rocklin, CA – (March 23, 2015) Next weekend the Ironman series kicks-off here in the United States with the California 70.3 in Oceanside. This race, which sells out each year, features top age-group and professional athletes. The race begins with a 1.2 mile swim at the Oceanside Harbor. After the swim athletes head out for a 56 mile bike along the California coastline to San Clemente and then drop into Camp Pendelton. Athletes return to Oceanside Harbor before starting the 13.1 mile run down The Strand.
Freeplay athletes Faith Lehman and Anna Hertel are both set to race in Oceanside next weekend. Both Lehman and Hertel raced in the California 70.3 last year. In 2014 Lehman had a strong showing placing top 15 in the 25-29 age group. Hertel also had a solid race posting a 2:48 on the bike. Hertel recently placed third in her age group and fourth overall at the Stanford Treeathlon.
“Oceanside this year is going to be an exciting challenge for me,” Hertel said. “One full of opportunities to apply all my hard work I did over the off-season. Overall I will focus on process again at all stages of the course. With my newly gained confidence in my ability to push harder and stay in the discomfort zone longer, I plan to ride as hard as it is sustainable and not let off on the big hill at mile 40. Coming down the hill my goal is not to fall into recovery mode but still hold a certain power knowing my HR will calm down. I am excited for the run this year and that is a first. I have really improved over the year and I see it as a great opportunity to test and apply. Process, form, posture, cadence and patience will be key again. If I focus on these and push as hard as I can, then I will have had a successful race.”
Freeplay pro Kelsey Withrow has been busy early season – testing the waters at smaller venues in Northern California. Withrow has shown she is fit and ready to go with three wins on the season already. This past weekend Withrow won and set a course record at the Golden Bears Duathlon. She is racing the Xterra Real in Granite Bay this weekend and is making her half distance debut at Wildflower the beginning of May.
“Last weekend my goal was to go out really hard, maintain the same intensity on the bike and then see what I had left for the last run. Since the second run was short I was willing to risk it by going out fast,” said Withrow after the Golden Bears Duathlon.