Morro Bay is one of the most naturally beautiful destinations on the Central Coast of California. Some recognizable landmarks of this coastal city include Morro Rock (a massive volcanic plug that formed 20+ million years ago), a protected bay that is home to an abundance of marine animals, and a small downtown with boutique shops and restaurants. It just so happens that this iconic beach town features all the necessary requirements for a Half Ironman. Starting with a protected open water swim in glassy Morro Bay, followed by a relatively flat and straight bike course along the Pacific Coast Highway, and finishing off with a half-marathon run through the quaint downtown of Morro Bay and the serene nature of Morro Bay State Park. This event will take place on May 20 2023, just 5 days after my 20th birthday. Due to the geographic proximity of the MB Half Ironman to my home in San Luis Obispo, the race being a week after my birthday, and taking place on such a beautiful course, Morro Bay 70.3 seemed like a perfect event for me to jump into. This will be my first Half Ironman, and I couldn’t be more stoked to race so close to home on a familiar course.
Ever since my middle school years, I have been a cross country and track runner, but recently I’ve found an interest in triathlon. Like many triathletes, I didn’t naturally progress to competing in this sport. Rather, I got injured from running and resorted to open water swimming to stay fit. I quickly fell in love with the tranquility and flow of open water swimming and decided to implement this sport into my training regiment. Next, I bought an old road bike to commute around campus during my first year at Cal Poly. Little did I know at the time, but this “commuter” bike would end up taking me on some pretty epic cycling adventures around the CA Central Coast. My favorite ride I’ve done was a century (100 mile ride) from San Luis Obispo to Santa Barbara last spring. Admittedly, the bike leg of the triathlon is my weakest leg, but I still really enjoy cycling and I think it’s one of the best ways to experience an area. It’s slower than driving, so you get to really appreciate the landscape, but you can cover so much more distance than if you were running! Regarding my experience in triathlon, I’ve done one sprint triathlon and three Olympic triathlons, so I feel that moving up to the Half Ironman distance is a reasonable progression.
Going into Morro Bay 70.3, my training is somewhat unorthodox considering I am currently in the middle of my track season, spending roughly
80% of my time running, and sprinkling in some swimming and cycling when I can. I am closing out my track season with the Cal Poly Distance Club in early May and then will have just over 2 weeks to focus solely on triathlon training. Until then, my plan is to swim 1-2 times a week, run 6 days a week, and bike once a week. While I recognize this isn’t the most efficient training for a Half Ironman, my current priorities lay with track training, so as long as I am staying aerobically fit, I should be just fine. Once I compete in my final track race on May 6th at the Occidental Distance Carnival, I will transition (no pun intended) over to higher volume bike rides and longer open water swims. I’ll do a couple brick workouts to get a feel for running off of the bike, and hone in my tri transition skills.
Overall, I am really excited to be participating in the Morro Bay Half Ironman. It works relatively well with my training schedule and honestly couldn’t be in a more convenient location. To everyone else racing, I wish you the best of luck and can’t wait to have some type II fun with you!
Written by: Patrick Goodrich