Vineman Triathlon (1/2 Ironman) - August, 2003

Finish: 639 out of 1266 

Pre-race Strategy

See you at the race.

Race Report

The swim was in the Russion River. It had some current, but we were swimming against it just as far as we were swimming with it. The swim was shallow enough that you could stand up if you wanted to on the edges. I am still having problems relaxing in the swim and can only breath out of one side because I cannot hold my breathe long enough to go three strokes. Pretty uneventful swim, just kept a steady pace and about half way through I relaxed and started breathing bilaterally. Coming out of the swim I relized I racked my bike in a bad spot. entering T1 was in the middle of the transition area. Exiting T1 was on the far left side, of course I racked my bike on the far right side. Plus it is a split transition race, so T1 and T2 are in different spots, so you have to bag up all your stuff from T1 before you leave on your bike. It gets delivered to a spot at the finish for you to pick up. Plus if you leave anything behind you get penalized for equipment abandonment. They let you ride your bike in T1, but it is so rocky it really is not worth it.


I come out of T1 and climb up the very short hill (5 pedal strokes) and head out onto the course. I noticed I was riding faster than I thought I should so I backed the pace down a bit. The course was very flat and just kept riding at a good pace. Passing people as they came into view and trying to remember to eat and drink. Around mile 42 is a small climb, but nothing you could not do in a 39/19. I climb up and and pass a few folks, but keeping within myself know I had to run afterwards. During the climb an old 70s RV passes me and a 30-34yo guy (probably 3rd in his AG at the time). We start the descent and are catching this beat up RV that is smoking something nasty. It is a 25mph zone and we are well excedding that, but the RV is not. The RV is just in the way and the road is not wide enough (ie no shoulder) so I/we could not get around him in the "bike lane." The other guy goes around the guy on the left crossing the yellow center line (a penalty), but no one was around, so I doubt he was penalized. I did not feel like doing that since waited for this RV would only cost me a minute or so, as opposed to a 4 minute penalty. Of course the whole time I am trying to yell at the guy to move over, which cost me a lot of energy. Coming into the town where the finish is, I start easing up on the bike and spinning more to get my legs ready for the run. I come into T2 and notice not to many bikes, so I am happy to know I am getting off my bike in a good position.


I head out on the run and down a gel just as I get outside T2, at the first aid station just past that I grab some water to wash it down with. Feeling good and keeping an 8:00/mile pace I was just relaxing. I know I can hold this pace for a long time, so I just continue on running. At the aid stations I was grabbing gatorade and then water to wash it down with. At the mile 4 aid station they had coke and I was thinking I could use the caffine and the sugar in a liquid form, so I grab some of that. The way I was going I would be finishing around 4:43! Only problem was it was not flat. Not fun when you are running in my case. Around mile 6 my stomach was starting to hurt, I had that bloated feeling, but more so that feeling of needing a restroom. I figured it was not to bad and I could continue further without one. Around mile 7 I really needed one, so I headed over to the two I saw. No luck, they were both occupied, so I asked were the next closest one was, they said about a mile up the road at the next aid station. Well, no choice, so I pushed on, but was going slower due to my stomach. I found the green towers and spent some time in them. Boy is it hot in those things in the sunshine. I did whatever I could to make myself feel better, but my stomach was still a little unhappy. I continued on the course and walked a bit trying to get whatever it was through me, but no luck. I stopped at just about every green tower until mile 11. From there I figured I only had 17 minutes until the finish and I could hold on until them. I ran the last two miles, but still felt miserable.

Right after the race I was headed up north to vacation with my family. On the way there I felt better (it was about 3 hours after the race), so I stopped into a fast food place for a soda. About 20 minutes after drinking half of it, my stomach was back to the way it was during the race. I guess since I rarely drink soda, I need to stay away from the carbonated stuff during races or anytime for that matter. Oh well, I learned my lesson.

Age Group Finishing Position: 97 out of 157

After the race I ate at least 4 bananas and 2 oranges. I drank a bit of water and tried to walk around a bit. The race was over and my stomach was beginning to feel better. A few people from my club congratulated me on a good first race and I was happy to be done. Next year you will be sure to see me take at least 40 minutes off my time from this year.

Swim Time - 00:37:08
Swim Trans - 00:03:57
Bike Time - 02:23:02
Bike Trans - 00:02:03
Run Time - 02:19:47
Swim Min/Km - 00:20:58
Bike MPH - 23.5

Run Min/Mile - 00:10:55

Final Time - 05:25:57

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