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Race Result

Racer: Dan Frost
Race: Vineman Full
Date: Saturday, August 12, 2006
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Race Type: Triathlon - Ironman
Age Group: Male 35 - 39
Time: 10:53:51
Overall Place: 20 / 256
Comment: Best vacation ever!

Race Report:

Sunshine all day. No clouds. 60F at start, 80sF maximum. Gentle, steady breeze from the south.

SWIM: Two laps in shallow dammed-up river. Water temperature 73F.
BIKE: Two loops to a separate transition area. Consistently rolling on coarse asphalt. One hill of steep significance. Roads lightly traveled.
RUN: Three laps out-and-back, rolling with two significant hills. Occasional shade. No traffic.

Entry Fee: $345 (Entered in early May – Actual price $295-to-$405 depends on date of entry)
Air Fare: Roundtrip on JetBlue from New York JFK to Sacramento ~$380 (including taxes), plus $50 each way for the bike
Car: Borrowed parent’s car. Cheapest unleaded gas $2.969-to-$3.079.
Lodging: $0. (HOMESTAY!!!)

Takeaways: Two white t-shirts (one for participation, one for finishing), water bottle, race number belt, finisher’s medal with fellow professional Peter Kotland’s image stamped on the reverse side (This race’s Vineman Hall-of-Fame inductee).

David Glover – second place overall – 9:31
Brady DeHoust – seventh place overall – 10:13
Myself – 20th place overall – 10:54
Stv Smth, Diedre & Kyle DeHoust (“Team D”), Mrs. Glover, my parents, and Mike Guzek (via phone) – just about every place overall – 24:00

The evolution of the Vineman, one of the oldest Ironman-distance races, has been much more deliberate and slower-paced than its M-Dot-licensed counterparts. Yet in its 17th edition, this race has developed a good sense of maturity.

I have previously done the half-distance version of this race twice (1999 and 2001) and a half-distance relay (also 2001). So, I had a familiarity with both the course and the event, as well as the difference between the 2000-person festival that the half-distance (call it “70.3” now) event is and its sister event two weeks later…doubled in length but much more miniscule in participation…

…Until this year...when there was a significant surge in entries. The Vineman itself had around 300 entries (260 finishers), and nearly 800 total participants on August 12th that include the women’s-only half-ironman (“Barb’s Race”), half- and full-distance relays, and half- and full-distance aquabikes.

This was also my first participation in a non-M-Dot-licensed ironman-distance event. What are the differences? At the Vineman, there is no pre-race meal, no post-race banquet (but there is an awards show), no post-race complementary massage (you pay extra for massage), no volunteer in the transition areas with sunscreen, only one portajohn in the second transition for all the racers, and no post-race DVD to take home. There is no gaudy, overblown exposition with big moneybucks sponsors and F-O-R-D plastered everywhere. Otherwise, everything is the same…the excitement, cheers, volunteers, the number of aid stations, PA announcing and, of course, the 140 and 3/5 miles filled with challenge and personal emotion.

I found it very much a treat to do this event. One of my goals for this race was to do the two things that I though would help David Glover win this race…(1) sleep with him, or rather, share the same accommodations, and trust that the same luck that I had sharing space with stv last year in New York before his third-straight NYC Triathlon win would rub off…and (2) drag him through the swim to a fast time. Unfortunately, we got separated at the start and any luck from me probably had nothing to do with his second-place finish. But we did cross paths a number of times during the race…making my race a little more pleasant and bearable.

I also was looking forward to finally giving Brady the inevitable sensation of making it to the finish line in front of me. I had no doubt that Brady would beat me to the finish on August 12th, not because my ironman-distance fitness had gone down, but that Brady’s had gone up…and it was exciting to see what another year of good training on Brady’s part would produce.

The narrow roads make this a tough bike course to cleanly navigate during the congestion of the 70.3 event, but the full Vineman and Barb’s Race come highly recommended. The Vineman events team is more of a close-knit family (whom we got to know better) rather than a large corporation or nebulous event-production company. Come and enjoy the beauty and magic of Northern California (land of my birth)! Come with someone you know and love. David will surely do it again. So will I…someday. Probably not next year, but definitely when David’s image gets stamped on the finisher’s medal.