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2020 IRONMAN 70.3-Oceanside, April 4

Oceanside CA— One of the most popular races in the circuit, IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside kicks off the 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 North American race season on April 4, 2020 with a race start at 6:40 a.m. Oceanside offers triathletes a chance to race in the region that birthed the sport in the early 1970s in Mission Bay.

One of more than 100 events in the global IRONMAN 70.3 Series, IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside leads athletes along a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run on a course that utilizes the beautiful city of Oceanside.

Athletes begin their day with a new beach start with athletes swimming into the Oceanside Harbor. Once out of the water, participants will embark upon a single-loop bike course which begins at the Oceanside Harbor and ventures through Camp Pendleton and San Onofre Bluffs State Park. Athletes will experience rolling hills prior to San Mateo hill followed by two more nice hills only to come upon a flat but very windy road to return to the Oceanside Harbor.

The two-loop run course will use both the upper level of Oceanside’s Pacific Street and the lower level of The Strand. Athletes will also run along Oceanside’s flat beachfront road, utilizing the ramps on Oceanside Pier before heading out to the southern portion of Pacific Street where the architecture is something out of a fairy tale mixed in with beach cottages.

The oldest competitor is 78- year-old Raymond Eastwood from Palos Verdes Estates, CA. The youngest competitor is 18-year-old Cameron Braithwaite from Lindon, Utah.

Interesting stories to follow at this years event:

Team Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF)

ESPY Award Winner Running Alongside Her Team of Athletes

Kirstie Ennis

  • Age: 29 (1/24/1991)
  • Address: San Diego, CA
  • Topline Story: Kirstie is a former U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant, who suffered severe injuries during a traumatic helicopter crash while on active duty. She underwent numerous surgeries, including amputation of her left leg above the knee, countless traumatic injuries to the brain and spine, and bilateral shoulder damage. Due to her injuries, she was forced to medically retire from the Marine Corps. She decided to live a new lifestyle following her departure from the military, prove that she can still be just as athletic in whatever she does in life. During her recovery, she has won three gold medals in swimming at the Warriors Games and has reached the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, Carstensz, Elbrus and Aconcagua, as an attempt to become the first female above-knee amputee to summit all seven of the world’s highest landmarks. Her bravery and determination have inspired so many across the globe, and she was recognized for her journey through ESPN’s yearly awards show. In 2019, Kirstie was presented with the Pat Tillman Award for Service during the ESPYS for her leadership, courage and drive. She will be looking to continue her journey to inspire at IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside.
Double Amputee and One of CAF’s Most Heralded Athletes

Roderick Sewell

  • Age: 27 (4/29/1992)
  • Address: New York, NY
  • TBorn with severe leg deformities that would prevent him from walking, Roderick’s mother made the difficult decision to have both of his legs amputated above the knee before his second birthday. Despite moving from shelter to shelter starting at the age of seven, Roderick’s pure determination led him to pursue his athletic goals which started with handcycling, and then to running track, playing basketball, and swimming. Roderick went from homelessness to accomplishing many “firsts” in his family: from the first to graduate college, to bringing home a Gold and a Bronze medal from the 2014 Pan Pacific Para Swimming Championships, to becoming the first bilateral amputee finisher at the IRONMAN World Championship, his accomplishments continue to grow as he’s looking to participate and win in the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.
Paralympian Joining Roommate To Take Down Ironman 70.3 Oceanside

Rudy Garcia-Tolson

  • Age: 31 (9/14/1988)
  • Address: New York, NY
  • Roderick’s brief time with CAF linked him with another athlete, now dear friend and roommate, Rudy Garcia-Tolson. Rudy was born with several rare birth defects from popliteal pterygium syndrome; by age five already endured 15 surgeries to attempt to straighten his legs. Through this, Rudy made the brave choice as a young man to amputate both legs. Although Roderick was the first bilateral amputee to complete the IRONMAN World Championship, Rudy was the first ever to complete any IRONMAN triathlon as a bilateral amputee. That feat earned him an ESPY nomination in 2010. Adding to his list of accomplishments, Rudy became the youngest challenged athlete, at age eight, to ever qualify and medal at the Disabled Swim Nationals. To add to that, at just 16 years old, Rudy held true to his biggest goal, going for Gold at the Athens Paralympic Games, winning the 200-meter Individual Medley and breaking a world record in the process. Rudy is looking forward to suiting up with his roommate Roderick to cross the finish line at IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside.
From “Forrest Gump” Leg Braces To Ironman

Christopher Galletta

  • Age: 52 (11/30/1966)
  • Address: Helmet, CA
  • Topline Story: Galletta was a self-proclaimed “Forrest Gump” growing up. He had leg braces, glasses, and was often bullied. He grew up to become a firefighter/paramedic, arson investigator, and multiple time IRONMAN. Galletta is racing the 2020 IRONMAN Oceanside 70.3 to set an example for his daughter—believe in yourself, and you will accomplish anything you set your mind to.
 Trio Of Brothers Racing For Bragging Rights

James Gruwell

  • Age: 45 (9/4/1974)
  • Address: Murrieta, CA

Daniel Gruwell

  • Age: 43 (7/14/1976)
  • Address: Temecula, CA

Patrick Gruwell

  • Age: 42 (12/26/1977)
  • Address: Concord, CA
  • The Gruwell brothers have quite a sibling rivalry built around IRONMAN events—when one of them wins, they remind the other brothers of the victory quite frequently. This year IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside gives the brothers a new opportunity to claim bragging rights.
Renowned Chef Races to Fill Void Left by Tragic Loss

Zane Holmquist

  • Age: 52 (4/22/1967)
  • Address: Salt Lake City, UT
  • Chef Zane Holmquist has faced many hardships in life: after spending his childhood being mocked for a learning disability, he worked hard to move up in the restaurant industry, gaining critical acclaim and national publicity for his culinary prowess. In 2017, he lost his son, Dexter, who passed away the day before IRONMAN 70.3 St. George. He competed that race, which he claims saved his life. He is now an avid triathlete who will dedicate IRONMAN Oceanside 2019, and all his races, to the memory of his son.
 Self-Proclaimed “Fastest Dwarf On Earth” Aiming for Personal Record

Zachary Josie

  • Age: 32 (4/6/1987)
  • Address: Herriman, UT
  • Dwarfism used to hold Josie back, but now he’s competing in triathlons, he sees a unique opportunity to become an elite athlete and inspire others. Josie completed IRONMAN 70.3 St. George in 6 hours, at Oceanside he is aiming for better than 5:30.
Rebuilding Father-Son Relationship

Michael Lew

  • Age: 53 (9/15/1966)
  • Address: Huntington Beach, CA
  • During Michael’s training for his first IRONMAN, his father passed away with pancreatic cancer very quickly. He recalls not having a strong relationship with his father and felt as though he grew up not knowing him. As they spent the last days of his life together, Michael was happy to have rekindled their relationship and get to know one another all over again. Some words his father shared during that time resonate with Michael as he continues to train and compete in triathlon, “do not ever stop what you have started and finish the race we call life, so whatever you are doing, do not let my death hold you back and finish what you have started.” Now, Michael represents the entirety of IRONMAN as he perseveres and believes that anything is possible.
Nothing Can Stop this Triathlete

Marco Petruzzi

  • Age: 48 (9/21/1971)
  • Address: Montreal North, QC, CA
  • Marco has been participating in triathlon since 2016 and has completed seven half IRONMANs to date. He already has another on his calendar for the end of August, in which he is fundraising for the American Crohn’s and Colitis foundation, a volunteer-driven non-profit organization dedicated to finding cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Marco has suffered from Crohn’s disease since 1998, and most recently suffered from a heart attack in December 2018. However, six months after his heart attack, he completed IRONMAN 70.3 in Mont Tremblant and continues to compete despite his Crohn’s.
Doctors Told Her What She Couldn’t Do: Now She Does IRONMAN

Jodi Pettit

  • Age: 42 (1/6/1978)
  • Address: Coto de Caza, CA
  • Pettit suffers from rheumatoid arthritis; doctors told her that she would be confined to a wheelchair, but she has proved them wrong time after time—she has managed her disease through rigorous exercise and become an endurance athlete who has tackled several marathons and IRONMAN events.
Epic Adventure Awaits

Dean Sowards

  • Age: 61 (6/22/1958)
  • Address: Chandler, AZ
  • Dean was diagnosed in 2015 with Stage 4 cancer. He underwent hormone and radiation therapy for about two years and doctors considered him to be cured. Dean decided he wanted to do something epic during remission, so he chose to be an IRONMAN. After competing in IRONMAN 70.3 Arizona as well as a full IRONMAN Arizona, he began to feel leg pains therefore his therapist ordered an MRI. The cancer had metastasized and dispersed to more than a dozen spots in his body. Although Dean was given 24-36 months to live, that has not stopped him from competing in several triathlons or his drive to continue competing.
PGA Meets 70.3; Golf Professional Races Triathlons as a Hobby

Monica Stratton

  • Age:  44 (2/6/1976)
  • Address: Encinitas, CA
  • After competing on the PGA Tour, Monica switched her focus to long course racing and has competed in several IRONMAN 70.3 races. She stumbled upon triathlon in 2011, when a friend suggested they train together for a half marathon, which soon turned into biking, then swimming. Feeling inspired, she competed in her first triathlon a year later in San Diego and claims to have found her people and passion in endurance sports.
Marine Corps Veteran Will Carry Flag for Fallen Marine During Run Portion as Representative of the New Gold Star Initiative

Tu Tran

  • Age: 38 (11/17/1981)
  • Address: Carlsbad, CA
  • Tu served as a Communications Officer in the United States Marine Corps in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2005 to 2015. An accomplished endurance athlete, Director of Team Wattie Ink: Elite Team and Hit Squad and a current Microsoft employee, Tran will carry the flag as part of the Gold Star Initiative in honor of USMC Lieutenant Corporal Abraham Simpson, who was hit by a rocket propelled grenade in the Second Battle of Fallujah in 2004 and killed at the age of 19. He is the oldest of three sons, all of whom served. His mother, Maria Simpson of Chino, Calif., will receive the flag. The Gold Star Initiative, a program in partnership between the IRONMAN Foundation and wear blue: run to remember, a national nonprofit running community that honors the service and sacrifice of the American military.
Celebrating 11th Anniversary of Engagement at the Finish Line

Craig Woodhouse

  • Age: 54 (7/22/1965)
  • Address: Carlsbad, CA
  • Woodhouse is running his 11th IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside this year, and race day also marks the 11th anniversary of his engagement to his wife—he asked her to marry him at the finish line of his first IRONMAN Oceanside race.



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