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ORANGE COUNTY ON THE GO

Short Triathlon Getting Long List of Entrants

July 29, 1999|MARTIN BECK

The Pacific Coast Triathlon, which next year will serve as the U.S. national championship for sprint distance triathlons, is proving to be a popular race.

As of Wednesday, more than 900 had signed up and organizers are expecting a near capacity field of about 1,100 for the half-mile ocean swim, 12-mile bike ride and three-mile run in and near Crystal Cove State Park.

The online entry deadline, access http://www.pacificcoasttriathlon.com, is Friday at noon. About 200 late registration packets will be available starting at 10 a.m. Saturday at the pre-race expo at El Morro Elementary School, race director Bill Leach said.

The expo also will feature seminars on triathlons and the course at 11 a.m, 12:30, 2 and 3:30 and 5 p.m. The 5 p.m. seminar will include instruction on getting in and out of the ocean. Waves are expected to be in the four- to five-foot range this weekend.

The race is the USA Triathlon Southwest Regional Championship and a U.S. Triathlon Series Championship qualifier. The elite field received a boost this week when the top-ranked woman in the world--Australian Michellie Jones, who lives in Carlsbad--said she is entering.

The race begins at 7 a.m. To accommodate the route of the bike race, Coast Highway will be closed from 6:15 to about 11 a.m., except for one lane north and one south. Entrants and spectators are encouraged to arrive early because the Reef Point and Los Trancos parking lots fill up fast.

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Triple Test

Sunday's Pacific Coast Triathlon is considered a sprint event because of the relatively short distances of the swim, run and bike events.

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