Final hurdle cleared for new Oceanside half-Ironman

Oceanside, Calif. (July 20, 2001) Oceanside's city council gave a thumbs-up in a 5-0 vote to a half-Ironman event to be held in its town next May 19. The race effectively replaces Ironman California, which gave way to Ironman Utah.

Graham Fraser, producer of all the North American Ironman races, will put on the Oceanside half. His mantra for this race is "Ironman quality of a half-Ironman distance." He wants to produce the "premier half-Ironman in the world," and will use IM California's race director, Buzz Mills, to make it happen for him on the local level.

Fraser is cognizant, though, of the presence of another well-produced half just up the road a few hours, and in an effort to stave off conflict with the Wildflower triathlon the Oceanside race is strategically place two weeks after the central California juggernaut.

As for Wildflower, Terry Davis that race's organizer says that he wishes Graham well, and hopes for a successful race in Oceanside. He doesn't see a conflict, inasmuch as many athletes may decide to tackle both events.

The Oceanside race ought not to harm Wildflower anyway. If any race could have hurt the popular Wildflower event it would've been Oceanside's full Ironman, and it just left town. Even when the full was here, all of Wildflower's races filled up in record time.

The Oceanside race will have at least $25,000 in pro prize money, and probably 20 Kona slots. The event will also give its top age-group finishers 130 to 150 slots for the other North American Ironman races. Fraser also promises a TV package and an aggressive marketing campaign.

While the event is not yet official, all is done except the formalities. Fraser hopes to start taking online registration within two weeks.

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