3 Viable 2018 Races
Newport Dunes (new in 2018), Surf City Escape (new in 2018) and the OC Triathlon are the only road triathlons expected in 2018. Surf City Escape occurred in April, the OC Triathlon in June and Newport Dunes will be on Sunday, November 4th. Races not expected on the 2018 calendar are Pacific Coast Triathlon and Newport Beach Triathlon. Pacific Coast Triathlon was “unable to secure a date for the 2018 event”. As for Newport Beach Triathlon, Active is selling 2018 Newport Beach registration but the Newport Beach Triathlon’s website only lists the 2017 event which is similar to a very bumpy 2017.
Newport Dunes: The Big Newcomer
The 11.4.18 Newport Dunes Triathlon is shockingly only 1 of 3 triathlons (road) to be held in Orange County in 2018. It is both surprising and concerning for a county that boasts a 3 million person population. 2018 Newport Dunes was announced in May and has a similar feature set as its sister race, Trick or Tri, except no 70.3-mile option. It is no surprise it is on pace to sell out early similar to Trick or Tri. Orange County is an expensive area to hold a race so it will be interesting to see if the economics in LA can be transferred to Newport Dunes. The feature set list is highlighted by an inland swim, closed bike course, VIP transition, free monthly coached clinics, free race photos, free coaching and every race volunteer earns a free entry to a future Cal Tri Event. I am most interested in the festival scene on Saturday night with athletes on-site camping, in RVs and staying in the bungalows enjoying food trucks, s’mores and a movie screening. Athletes and their families will wake up steps away from transition and camping is only $20/person. The perfect tri-cation without having to leave SoCal.
Comparing & Contrasting the 3 Races
The features of all three races are included in the table below. My understanding is that about 1/3 of the athletes will be first-timers. They will appreciate the rolling swim start, a safe swim location, closed bike course and all the free clinics, coaching and training. Newport Dunes compares very favorably to other races in Orange County and competition is good for everyone. We need more races like Newport Dunes Triathlon on 11.4.18
In 2018 Surf City Escape had 436 finishers (318 Olympic + 101 Sprint + 17 Aquabike). The OC Triathlon had 564 finishers (453 Olympic + 40 Duathlon & 71 Relay). Combined, that is exactly 1,000 finishers. We will have to wait for 2018 Newport Dunes data until November 4th. Typically finisher data is much more reliable than registration data because registration data is unavailable or races have a tendency to inflate those numbers.