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Sweat it Out in Oceanside: Southern California Beach Town Is a Leader in Athletic Tourism

April 3, 2014 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Whether looking to train like an elite athlete, experience a sport for the first time or simply be inspired by a front row seat to world-class sporting events,   Oceanside, San Diego’s North Shore, is a mecca for the fitness-minded traveler. A year-round calendar of elite athletic events, abundance of recreation options and stellar outdoor-oriented climate, put this coastal town at the forefront of Athletic Tourism.

“Athletic tourism encompasses a broad definition of activities and events,” said Leslee Gaul, CEO of Visit Oceanside. “On the one hand it can include visitors who have made a new or renewed pledge to getting in shape and want a vacation that can motivate them and kick start a new fitness program. For those in peak condition already, it can mean finding new ways to push their limits, such as a premier running event, triathlon or sporting competition.”

Elite Events

Oceanside enjoys a world-class reputation as a training ground for elite athletes and a venue for leading sporting events such as triathlons, bike races and surf contests.Few cities enjoy as many elite sporting events as Oceanside, which boasts an annual calendar that includes seven major sporting events including:152264_num458014_600x600

–          California Ironman 70.3 Triathlon (March)-  Annual half-ironman distance triathlon.

–          Southern California Beach Soccer Championships (May)- Professional beach soccer teams compete for the championship prize of $10,000.

–          Race Across America (June)- World’s toughest endurance bike race that starts in Oceanside and finishes in Maryland.

–          Guy Takayama Pro Noseriding and Pro Open Contest (August)- Annual longboard surf contest now in its 14th year.

–          World Body Surfing Championships (August)- Annual body surfing contest with contestants from around the world.

–          Ford SuperGirl Pro (August)- Only women’s pro-surfing qualifying event in America.

–          Life Time Tri Championship (October)- Olympic distance triathlon and championship for the Life Time Tri series.

–          Iron Girls (TBD) 

For Athletes of All Levels

You don’t have to be a professional to compete in Oceanside. Many of Oceanside’s athletic events have opportunities for the novice, intermediate or even children to take part. Bike the Coast-Taste the Coast is a highly anticipated community bike race, which takes participants of all levels along coastal bike routes ranging from 7 miles to 100 miles with a finish at the Oceanside Pier for a fun family-oriented expo with food, activities and products. Another fun community event is the annual Oceanside Turkey Trot, a coastal running race of varying distances held on Thanksgiving morning. The Labor Day Pier Swim, World Body Surfing Championships, Life Time Tri and Beach Soccer Championships also have opportunities for athletes of varying abilities.

Recreational Fun

In addition to organized competitions, Oceanside offers a wide variety of soft adventure recreational activities for visitors of all ages. The city is one of only two designated bike-friendly communities in San Diego by the League of American Bicyclists. Visitors can rent recreational bikes for the day for a nominal fee and explore the coastal boardwalk and scenic 7-mile San Luis Rey Bike Trail. At the beach and harbor, travelers can opt for surf or stand-up paddle board lessons. Coastal pedestrian paths are great for jogging, walking and rollerblading too. The harbor is a natural draw for boating enthusiasts who can pursue a number of recreational activities including jet skiing, boating, sailing, sea kayaking and sport fishing.

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