Pre-race: It’s nice to have the safety talk and course walkthrough. They had late registration possible as well. I didn’t see any early AM check in available, although it may have been. Parking was convenient and close for participants and guests.
Transition: There was the typical “clear out the transition area” fuss, and some disorganization with the communication. Body marking was unorganized and floating around. Plenty of rack room, with wide aisles to run through. No trash receptacles. Bike out signage was not clear, but there was plenty of verbal communication.
Swim: Entry location was well selected, heat size probably too large, 3 Min interval between heats was perfect. Organizers blew the yardage for the swim, 2-300Yd too long. Water was murky, Doheny isn’t the cleanest beach… but there was no surf or current.
Bike: Excellent bike course, a pure thrill to have the whole road for the trip down Ortega. Only the narrow lane in the residential neighborhood should have been wider (5-6′ is too tight for racing) . I rode up on one accident that appeared to be a result of the limited space.
Run: One of the worst courses I have run so far. The 1.5 miles on the soft sand was just irrational, especially with plenty of paved roads and sidewalks available. The 3 loops on PCH, hot and sloped asphalt was more torture. It appeared as though the organizers couldn’t manage, afford, or get the permits to put the run into San Clemente, or even down to the science center in the harbor, which would have eliminated so much of the troubled areas.
Fuel Stations: Well positioned throughout, most had COLD water (thank you) and watered down HEED, gel, salt, bananas and oranges on the run. I could have done without the salt tablets, and preferred more solid fuel options like they had the year before.
Volunteers: Plenty of friendly and encouraging friends who were loud, helpful, and brave to endure the
heat, humidity and challenging course.
Post Race: Pretty apathetic and scattered. Not conducive to socializing, only a handfull of vendors, and poorly marked fuel stations.
Would I do this tri for the third time? Only if the run were organized as a run, not an obstacle course.