Vineman 70.3. Part1. Pre-race.

Vineman is a road trip, destination spot, club event. This is my big triathlon for the year.
I got a couple extra days off work to prep and enjoy a long weekend with friends.


Preparation for me actually starts way way early.
– There’s the registration in November. This race sold out in 8 minutes. I had to sit at my computer at 9am and click click click to get in.
– There was the hotel reservations months ahead before they sell out. We stayed in Best Western Wine Country and Suites in Santa Rosa.
– There was the time off from work. Ugh. It’s so unpredictable. And Murphy’s that work is totally busy at this time. Last year I had barely started work at my current job.
– There’s family stuff to square away. Kids are in summer school. New driveway is being poured while I’m leaving. Sheesh.

– Finally, there’s the training preparation.
Preparation culminated in a race rehearsal with Lynda and some other friends a couple weeks ago. 56 mile bike and a short run.
Week out from the race, get all the bike stuff. New tires, tighten up the cables, check the brakes.
Open water swim in Long beach to try out the wetsuit. I hadn’t worn it for a long time. Issues with length and stretch. And getting the. Escrow on the neck fully covered and not scratching off my neck. Tried out new Tri kit. Medium Tri top was too tight. Got a large size for Vineman. Tri shorts are short on the back. Hoping for no crack issues. Hehe.
Packing for the triathlon. Lay out all the gear. Tri too
Swim stuff. Wet suit. Buy more body glide. Goggles. Flip flops for rocky beach.
Bike stuff. Pack pump. Sunglasses. Head band. Socks. Sunscreen. Aloe gator. Best stuff for long events. Lip balm 30 SPF.
Run stuff. Running belt. 1 water bottle.
Pack the nutrition. Baggies of powder. Containers for Endrolytes and Anti-fatigue pills, and andrenal pills. Skratch powder. Buy the ingredients and cook the rice cakes (more on this later, boo). Powerbars goos.
Pack extra set of cloths for practice swim and bike.
Charge up the Garmin 910.

Thursday. Travel Day.

It’s a long ride from LA to Santa Rosa. 7-8hr, depending on how many potty stops. Lynda and Gregg left early on Thursday. I worked early then left around 3pm. Drove up myself and landed around 10pm.
I stayed with Bryan, who’s a great roomie. No snores. Clean and considerate. Good friend. He was primed for his 7th Vineman.

Bryan Naired his legs to get all the speed he could. Apparently, it works cuz he PR’d by minutes and qualified for World Championships in Mont Treblanc later this year.


Friday. Practice Swim and Bike.

We met our PTC friends at Johnson’s Beach in The Russian River. I had a few things to iron out in the swim. I needed to make sure I could hike up the suit high on my legs and high on my arms to give my shoulders the most rotation room. Also, I needed to make sure the zipper and velcro were completely covered so it didn’t rub off my neck. And that the new body glide on my wrists, ankles, and neck properly protected me. Then, Swim a happy swim!

Gregg, Bryan, Trevor, Nicole, Me, Lynda, Erin, Sebastian, Shane, Alvin, Mike, Kirk


Erin, Alvin, Nury, Mike, Lisa, Kirk, Lynda, Shane, Corrina, Me, Janet


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We swam out, past to the 2nd bridge, about 1/4 mile. It felt really good to get the jitters out. The river has a dam to hold the water at a constant level. You can see it in the pic. Parts are 3 to 6′ in depth. You can certainly walk it if you freak out. It’s the best swim for scary-cats like me. But, the rocks on the bottom are very sharp. So, I don’t walk much.


Then, we packed up the wetsuits and went for a short bike ride on the course. The T1 transition area is the whole dirt parking lot on race day. Very muddy. More on that later too. The ride up, out of the parking lot is very steep. Make sure you’re in a low gear, the mounting like is at the base of the steep grade. We went to through the little town, down the main highway to the hard right turn at Sunset street. and then a few more miles. The sun had come out and it was a spectacular day. This was my favorite part of the whole weekend. No stress. Just enjoy the ride!

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Korbel Champagne Winery and Vineyard

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Hard right at Sunset

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We had a late lunch at a diner in Santa Rosa. Shopped at Eschelon Tri Store.

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We had dinner together at the Jaded Toad in Windor, close to the finish line. After frog legs and BBQ, we strolled over for frozen yogurt.

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Slept in. Packet pick up and shopped at the Expo. I bought a special Vineman 70.3 shirt with all the partipants’ names on it. My name is on it! I bought a M-dot visor too. Big spender this year.

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1pm. Lunch with the Volt kids.


4pm. Dropped of running stuff at T2 at Windor High School. My T2. Red towel for fast identification. Ice cooler with 1 rice cake, bunch of goos, race belt with bib attached, old faithful Asics GT2000 Trail Running shoes, running hat, cooling neck wrap (more on this later), bag of endurolyte and anti-fatigue pills. Gregg and Lynda in T2.

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FYI: The Race is a point to point. Swim is at the river. T1 transition to the bike. Bike from Guernville to Windsor High School. T2 transition to Run. Finish at Windsor High School.

5pm. Went to Whole Foods Market for a light dinner.

9pm. Into bed early.

Sunday. RACE DAY. See Part 2.

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