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Race Result

Racer: David Glover
Race: Vineman Full
Date: Saturday, August 11, 2001
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Race Type: Triathlon - Ironman
Age Group: Male 30 - 34
Time: 9:43:00
Overall Place: 1
Age Group Place: 1
Comment: My first Ironman win!

Race Report:

Vineman takes place in Santa Rosa, CA which is about 1.5 hours (non-rush hour) north of San Francisco in Sonoma County. It's always been a small race (205 started this year) and up until 1999, it was an Ironman qualifier. The course is the 1/2 Vineman x 2.

The swim starts at Johnson's Beach on the Russian River which is dammed up during the summer. There is a little flow but it's not really noticeable. The air temperature was in the 50's early in the morning and the water temp. was 72. The river was very foggy race morning and I had difficulty seeing the buoys. There was a wave start so I had about 100 people in my wave...which was very niced! I swam the whole thing without drafting off anyone [no one was around me] although I felt someone at my feet the whole time.

The bike course literally passes by hundreds of vinyards. At the first out and back about 10 miles into the race, I was about 4 or 5 minutes off the leader. I used a heart rate monitor to measure effort (~160 bpm) since the course was hilly it did not make sense to go by speed alone. I felt very strong yet conservative. About mile 40, I passed pro Peter Kotland who had won in 1998 the first year I did this race. He was not looking to great but then again he had just done IM USA two weeks before.

At the base of Chalk Hill which is the biggest climb at about mile 50, I caught the three leaders. About half way up the hill, I heard the horrifying sound of "pssssssssttttt" and looked down to see my rear wheel go flat. I trudged up the rest of the hill and pulled over and watched as 5 or 6 people passed me while I changed the flat. I had forgotten to pick up CO2 cartridges from the expo and had to suffice with a small hand pump.

After that things seemed to go downhill due to frustration as well as nutrtition. On the second loop, I was passed by a guy and could not keep up with him nor could I close on anyone else. I was unable to keep my HR above 143 or so. I think Coke would have remedied the situation but there was none at the bike aid stations.

The bike to run transition took place at Windsor High School about 15 miles from the swim start. Another slow transition...and I was in 7th place at the start of the run. This was a new run course that was flat for about the first mile then hilly thereafter...there was no shade, it was on asphalt and temp. was in the low 80's.

For whatever reason, I have always felt good starting the run irregardless of what has happened on the bike. In the past, I usually tended to go out too hard the first half of the marathon then end up blowing up the 2nd half. Today, I felt comfortable at about a 7:30 mile and was confident I could keep that for the race. It then became a waiting game as I slowly reeled in other runners.

After the first of four turnarounds (out and back twice), I saw Peter Kotland about 10 minutes back and he was flying...he had won Ultraman in '98 by running 2:48 then 2:45 back to back marathons. I never saw him again becuase he later DNF'd. By the second turnaround at half way point, I had moved into 2nd place behind Terry Butts.

People kept saying "You're looking a lot stronger than the guy in front" so I just kept going. I finally caught Terry at mile 23. He finished about 3 minutes behind me but ended up with 3rd place due to a drafting penalty (6 minutes in IM distance race).

Another great IM experience and an unexpected result! It's still up in the air whether or not they will have the race next year given the small number of participants. I think it makes an excellent first time race and is one of the best run races I've ever done. Plus, for awards they give out bottles of wine in wooden wine boxes with race name and brass placard. My magnum bottle of wine literally weighs about 30 pounds!