Vineman 70.3. Part 2. Race Day.

This is my race report for Ironman 70.3 Vineman in Santa Rosa, CA. July 13, 2014.

Pre-race blog post here.

4.30am. Woke up. Dressed and packed the car. I took my rice cakes out of the fridge in the hotel room; they were slimy and not cold. Bad sign.

5.15am. Car pool to the River. Danny and I took my car. I brain-farted and drove Windsor, instead of Guernville. OMG! I made a rookie mistake, since I never drove to the River, I was always a passenger in Lynda’s car. Super stressed out.

6.15am. The traffic was nuts. Backed up for a mile. Stressful for those with an early start time. I like to get there at a lot earlier. While we waited in traffic, Danny discovered he left his wetsuit at the hotel. Drama. We didn’t have time to turnaround and get back. My wave started at 8.06am and I needed a lot of set up time in T1. He faced the swim in his speedsuit. Super duper stressed out. We decided to ditch the car and ride into transition.

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Once I got into transition and set up my stuff, I felt a ton better. I said hi to the guys around me then went for my pottie break. Whew. That went well too. Then, zoomed around and took Pre-race pics with my friends. Adrenaline was in the air.



Lisa, Corrina (first 70.3!)


Derek, Mike




















Bryan, Lynda, Me


Swim. It went great for me. I didn’t freak out. I had plenty of range of motion. My neck didn’t rub off. I sited ok. PR on Swim! Woohoo. All is going great.

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T1. Ran up the shore. Stripped the wetsuit on the carpet before I got muddy. I had a new transition mat which was super helpful in the muddy field. Dude’s bike that was racked next to me was leaking from his aero bottle. It left a mud puddle all over my transition stuff. WTF? Anyway, I stuffed all my stuff in the gym bag with my number on it. They bus the bags back to T2 for pickup later. Hopped on my bike and took off.  I was slower than most of the other guys in my wave. I am usually by myself on the bike. It’s not crowded on open road.

I felt good on the bike. Had to pee at 1st aid station mile 14. Nutrition. I ate 1 endurolyte and 1 anti-fatigue every 30 minutes. I tried to the eat the slimy rice cake. I got 1 down, then gave up on the 2nd one. I started to think about what to do about nutrition.

Went through both bottles. I had 2 scoops of Hammer Perpetuem in each bottle. Re-filled a bottle with water at 2nd aid station at mile 28.

Chalk hill was harder than I remembered. The course is HILLY! I only ventured to take a couple pictures when I came up on Lisa, Corrina.

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Sun came out from the clouds around mile 10. I wasn’t hot during the bike, but I knew it was going to heat up on the run. I kept taking in as much fluids as possible.

T2. Nutrition started to break down. As I got off the bike, by quads siezed up slightly, just teasing me that they might cramp. I quickly kept moving. I slowed down in T2 to eat a whole waffle bar and settle my stomach. Put on my hat for ice, my wrap for neck cooling. racebelt with bib and goos.

Mile 1 cramps in quads. Zach ran by and said hi. I walk/ran. I also noticed blister on my right foot. Where did that come from? My tri kit must have dripped alot of water into my bike shoes to give me a blister on the bike. That was weird.

Ice in my hat every mile. Drank gatorade every mile. Pills every 30 minutes. Ran / walked for the whole course. It was getting hotter and hotter. I could have beat my PR easily if I could run, but it was not meant to be. I finished slower than last year by 2 minutes. But I had an awesome swim and bike.

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I always try to finish strong for the picture. As I turned the corner I gave it everything I had left. My cramps came back all over my legs and hips. I was losing control of my legs as I crossed the line. I turned a funny color and started to tip over. Girl took my timing chip off. I told her to hurry, cuz I was tipping over. A guy grabbed me and walked me out. Sebastian took me next to the water table. I lost it there. Lynda walked my to the tables and I had a quiet sobbing moment and collected myself. I was spent, physically, emotionally. I let it all out and started to bounce back with some strawberries and water. Thanks, Alvin for taking these finish line pictures!

Alvin, Kirk



Alvin, Steve


Lynda, Me, Steve



Me, Mike, Scott, Jeff, Deanna, Linda, Sebastian


Me and Lisa


Since I’m always last of my friends, I try to move fast and get my stuff and go. Everybody always waits and cheers for me, so I hate to keep them waiting.

4pm. Awards Ceremony and Roll Down for World Championships.

Bryan was 9th on his age group. He got a Roll down spot for World Championships in Mont Treblanc. Gregg didn’t get a spot it this year. Some spots were reallocated to other age groups. At the end, one spot rolled down to ANY 40-44 guy. Lynda pointed at me with a wild-eye look. I shook my head and mouthed “NOOOO”. Some how I dodged the bullet. Mostly, I was embarrassed to get a spot with a 7:00:00 time. sheesh.


6pm. Post Party at Weavers.

Nicole’s parents host a lovely party at their house, just outside Santa Rosa. It’s catered with gourmet pizza. Beer, Wine. I was still overheating from race. I only drank iced sodas. I wasn’t even hungry. I had salads, pizza. I took an orchid and bottle of wine for the hostess gift.

We laffed and talked triathlon for hours. Kids and families swam in the pool. Deer trotted through the oak trees. It got late and we headed back to the hotel.

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All in all it wasn’t the best overall race, but it was a great swim and bike for me. I know what went wrong on my part: Never trust a hotel fridge. I know that some days nature runs its course: it’s hot in July.


Breakfast and drove home. Bryan rode with me. We listened to 80’s hits on Spotify and reminisced of the good ‘ol days. We talked about families. Wives, kids and triathlons. We talked about his first Sprint, first Olympic triathlon, his first road bike. I dropped him off at home and landed at home. Our new driveway was finished. There was a few follow up things to take care of. I hugged my wife and kids, and life started again, right where it left off.

Got the official Vineman pictures. Hilarious. Blog post here.




6 thoughts on “Vineman 70.3. Part 2. Race Day.

  1. Looks like a great race. I know the feeling of being the tail end of friends. i always say it just means I have quality friends…or well trained ones…

    1. Thanks for the support. i was super hot out there on the run. aid stations ran out of ice at mile ten. that’s where i started to really fall apart. but, not too upset cuz i saw the forcast and expected the hot. happy to finish and have a great story to tell.

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