A Tale of Two Heathers? Ironman 70.3 California Race Preview Jordan Blanco March 26, 2015 Race Previews Ironman 70.3 California takes place in Oceanside, just north of San Diego in Southern California. As the first Ironman 70.3 race of the year on the US mainland, it always draws a stellar field and 2015 is no exception with 2014 and 2013 champions returning to do battle. For the last two seasons the race has been dominated by American, Heather Jackson and Canadian, Heather Wurtele. The pair have shared the top two spots at the race, with Jackson the champion in 2013 and Wurtele taking top honors in 2014. While Jackson is set to open her 2015 racing campaign in Oceanside, Wurtele has already shown that she is in spectacular form this season, having taken second place in the recent Challenge Dubai race. Both women possess excellent bike and run abilities so watch for a fun duel in the closing miles of the race. The 2012 Oceanside champion, Canadian Melanie McQuaid is back for a shot at the top spot. She is joined by two other Canadian women, Magali Tissyere and Angela Naeth, who could find themselves in podium contention for the race if current form is anything to go by. Tisseyre recently announced her 2015 season is focused on a strong performance at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships and she backed up the statement with a dominating victory in her first race of the year, Monterrey 70.3. Naeth also raced in Monterrey where she grabbed the third and final podium spot in her kick-off race for the season. It was also her first race under new coach, Jesse Kropelnicki of QT2 Systems. We had a chance to catch up with Naeth after Monterrey: “I had a good time and it was great to come out on the podium. The race was well organized but the roads were a bit treacherous and the run was quite slippery. My goal in the end was to come out without injury so I’m a happy camper!” Besides Jackson, American contenders include Alicia Kaye, Lauren Brandon and Sarah Piampiano. Kaye and Brandon are relatively new to longer distance racing, having made the step up from short-course non-drafting racing in the past year. Kaye has already made a statement, winning in her debut Ironman 70.3 in Muskoka last September and placing sixth among the stacked field of Challenge Dubai. . Brandon was in second place early in the run during the Monterrey race but a wrong turn took her completely out of contention for the podium. As a collegiate swimmer and a solid biker, look for Brandon to set the pace early in the race. Piampiano is yet another athlete who is toeing the line having raced at Ironman 70,3 Monterrey. In Mexico, she used a solid bike and excellent run in challenging conditions to place second overall, just ahead of Naeth. Complete women’s field below: BIB LAST FIRST CATEGORY Country REP 55 Wurtele Heather WPRO CAN (Canada) 56 Jackson Heather WPRO USA (United States) 57 McQuaid Melanie WPRO CAN (Canada) 58 Naeth Angela WPRO CAN (Canada) 59 Vesterby Michelle WPRO DNK (Denmark) 60 Spieldenner Jennifer WPRO USA (United States) 61 Lidbury Emma-Kate WPRO GBR (United Kingdom) 62 Lyles Liz WPRO USA (United States) 63 Lester Carrie WPRO AUS (Australia) 64 Preston Rebecca WPRO AUS (Australia) 65 Piampiano Sarah WPRO USA (United States) 66 Siddall Laura WPRO GBR (United Kingdom) 67 Wassner Rebeccah WPRO USA (United States) 68 Wassner Laurel WPRO USA (United States) 69 Kaye Alicia WPRO USA (United States) 70 McBride Rachel WPRO CAN (Canada) 71 Lawrence Holly WPRO GBR (United Kingdom) 73 Anelauskas Kaitlin WPRO USA (United States) 74 Brandon Lauren WPRO USA (United States) 75 Carguilo Katy WPRO USA (United States) 76 Casey Terry WPRO USA (United States) 77 Cocks Emily WPRO USA (United States) 79 Gordichuk Alexandra WPRO CAN (Canada) 80 Jackson Christina WPRO USA (United States) 81 Jarvis Sarah WPRO DEU (Germany) 82 Johann Carly WPRO USA (United States) 83 Kozulina Tamara WPRO UKR (Ukraine) 85 McCauley Jocelyn WPRO USA (United States) 86 McCracken Amelia WPRO USA (United States) 87 Morel Charlotte WPRO FRA (France) 88 Noey Elizabeth WPRO USA (United States) 89 Pierce Brittany WPRO USA (United States) 90 Tisseyre Magali WPRO CAN (Canada) Text by Jordan Blanco Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName Email Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.