The Sept. 13 race, based at Cabrillo College, will include a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike and a 26.2-mile run, same as those for the unrelated Ironman World Championships held yearly in Hawaii. The swim will include two laps around the Cement Ship. The bike will take competitors onto San Andreas Road, out to Fort Ord and down to Chular Road. After a transition at Cabrillo, they will run to the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, complete two 4-mile laps on the park's fire road, and then return for the finish at Cabrillo.
The swim will start at the historic Cement Ship, just south of the village of Capitola, located at Seacliff State Park Beach. The swim is a triangular, two lap course with right hand turns. Each leg of the triangle is approximately 700 yards. At the end of the first loop athletes will run out of the water, around a marker and begin the second loop. At the end of loop 2 swimmers run from the water across the beach to T-1.
After exiting T1 the racers bike south through suburban Santa Cruz County towards the strawberry fields of Watsonville. After crossing the Pajaro River into Monterey County the ride goes inland a bit to the quaint town of Prunedale. Once past Prunedale the riders travel towards the Artichoke Capitol of the World, Castroville. The farms and the bulcolic rolling hillsides are picturesque, to say the least. Once past Castroville cyclists pedal towards Old Fort Ord, and skirt the fort as they travel towards the wine country and mountains of the Santa Lucia range. Reservation Road becomes River Road once it crosses Hwy 68.
The ride comes to the turn around at the beginning of the Monterey Wine Trail, just short of the town of Chular, then returns exactly along the same route, all the way back to Capitola. Total elevation gain is 2,100 feet.
Once the ride ends at the Cabrillo College sports stadium, the run starts an epic marathon through the giant redwoods and mystical forest of Nisene Marks State Park. It is a two lap course that is mostly off-pavement, under the cool shade of trees along a dirt fire road.
The ride and the run are relatively flat courses. The ride climbs a total of 2,100 feet, and the run climbs a mere 900 feet total. Not only is the course a beauty, but it is going to be rippin' fast!