Larry, Devin, and I did the Camp Pendleton Semper Tri triathlon on Saturday. This race is a staple of the Camp Pendleton Hard Corps Race Series. Everybody I know laments the loss of the old Olympic/international distance triathlon that used to be part of the series. For eight years now, this shorter race has been a fun replacement. Devin has done every single one of them. One of the great things about races at Camp Pendleton is that they are opportunities to access areas of Southern California that are normally not easy or impossible to see. The Semper Tri race takes place at the Navy LCAC ACU-5 hovercraft base within the larger Camp Pendleton Marine Base. I think unless you walked up the beach from Oceanside or paddled in from offshore, one would not normally be able to get to this part of the coast.
Another great thing about this race in particular is that it is a true rough water swim. Granted, the swim is only 500 meters, but anybody who has ever done this race will tell you that there are waves and currents to deal with. I would not call the swim difficult, but there just are not too many triathlons these days that have beach start swims in the open ocean. The 30-kilometer bike leg starts with a half-mile climb up the wide hovercraft ramp and then travels out and back on military base roads. Finally, the run is a 5-kilometer winding loop through the ACU-5 base, culminating in a one-of-a-kind-finish up onto a massive hovercraft.
The Semper Tri race raises money for the Marine Corps ball and I think other quality of life activities at the base. Like all of the Hard Corps races, this one is staffed by marines who are not shy about telling you to pick up the pace. Of course we also had Missy, Avery, and Coco out there telling us to go a little faster while scootering their way around the base. It was a great morning and a great race.