The Vineman

About 2,000 athletes participated in the Vineman, which included a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and 13.1-mile run last weekend July 19, 2009

It was an extremely warm day, with runners talking about being ‘cooked’, and marred by a falling oak tree which injured some cyclists.  The event is huge, drawing participants from all areas of the state and country.  For entry form and info, see:  http://www.vineman.com/Assets/Entry+Forms/2009+70.3+Entry+Form.pdf

For those interested in the course, please see below, and if you need lodging for next year, please see www.SonomaCountyVacations.com for some great choices.

Race Course

Swim Course Details:

The Vineman Ironman 70.3 swim is staged at Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville, California. The swim takes place in the Russian River. Groups of 75-150 swimmers at a time will start in 8 minute intervals beginning at 6:30 A.M. Water temperatures should be between 72 and 74 degrees; wetsuits will be allowed as this falls within USA Triathlon guidelines.

The swim course is an out & back course which starts in front of the dam at Johnson’s Beach and proceeds upstream stream to the turn-around point. Swimmers will keep the swim buoys on their left-hand side for the entire swim. A neutral area, which is marked with buoys, where there are no swimmers will separate the swimmers on the outbound and return legs of the swim. The swim course, which averages between 4 and 7 feet in depth, will be monitored by lifeguards in kayaks. The swim course will remain open for one hour and 15 minutes after the last wave of swimmers begins. Click here for the course map.

Between the Russian River being dammed in a number of locations near Guerneville and the fact that it almost never rains in Sonoma County between June 1st and October 15th, there is very little current in the river during this time period. Under typical conditions, a 25-minute mile swimmer should expect it to take about one minute longer to make it to the turn-around point (swimming against the stream) than it would to return back to the swim finish from the turn-around (swimming with the current.)

The dam at Johnson’s Beach is a seasonal dam which is up only in the summer months. The dam is scheduled to be in place by June 20th and will remain in the river until after Labor Day.

Johnson’s Beach has been a favorite summertime spot in Sonoma County for decades. The beauty of the redwoods which line the banks of the Russian River, the serenity of the flowing river, and the down-to-earth people who run Johnson’s Beach and Resort make it a truly special place. The concession stand at Johnson’s Beach is open daily and is famous for its giant draft beers and its fresh grilled hamburgers.

Bike Course Details:

The bike portion of the Vineman Ironman 70.3 is simply a great course. It is challenging, but not too difficult. Its many rolling hills and curves are technically demanding. It has 1600 feet of climbing, a 385 foot climb on Chalk Hill, which is enough of a challenge because of the location. Its comes at 45 miles into the ride to keep you honest in your training and rave pacing. But most of all the course is extremely beautiful, passing endless miles of vineyards and dozens of wineries.

The bike begins at Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville and finishes at Windsor High School (approximately 15 miles away from its starting point). Aid stations are located at mile 18, 29, 40 and will be serving water, Gatorade Endurance Formula, and PowerBars. NOTE: Gatorade Endurance Formula contains a unique five-electrolyte blend including nearly twice the sodium (200mg) and three times the potassium (90mg) of Gatorade Thirst Quencher as well as calcium, magnesium, and chloride to help you better replace what you lose in sweat during longer and more intense active occasions.

The gently rolling hills are challenging, but not overwhelming. The roads are lightly traveled and will be intensely marshaled by USAT officials.

Air temperatures generally range from the low-to-mid 50s early in the morning to daytime highs between 80 and 95 degrees.

Bike Course Turn by Turn Description:

Click here for the course map

Cyclists leave Guerneville on River Road heading east (toward Highway 101) and proceed 5 miles to Sunset Avenue
– RIGHT on to Sunset & underneath River Road
– RIGHT on to Westside Road
– LEFT on to Kinley Road
– LEFT on to Dry Creek Road
– RIGHT on to Canyon Road
– RIGHT on to CA 128 into Geyserville
– LEFT to stay on CA 128 in Geyserville
– RIGHT on to Chalk Hill Road
– LEFT on to Pleasant Road which turns into Faught Road
– RIGHT on to Shiloh Rd
– LEFT on to Old Redwood HWY
– RIGHT on to Fulton Rd
– RIGHT on to Airpoort Boulevard
– RIGHT on to Skylane Boulevard
– LEFT on to Shiloh Road
– RIGHT on to Windsor Road to Windsor High School
Cyclists will TURN LEFT to enter the south parking lot at Windsor High School to finish the bike portion of the event. The transition area will be located on the grassy field behind the school.

Run Course Details:

The Vineman Ironman 70.3 13.1 mile run course starts and finishes at Windsor High School. Aid stations are located approximately each mile on the run course and will be serving: Gatorade Endurance Formula, water, cola, PowerBar Gel, assorted fruit, & cookies

The run course starts at Windsor High School and takes athletes to the La Crema Winery on an out and back course. The run course will be open for eight hours after the last wave of swimmers begins.

Run Course Turn by Turn Directions:

This is an out and back course. The run will start behind Windsor High School and exit the school at the south entrance turning:
RIGHT on Windsor Rd.
RIGHT on Reiman Rd.
LEFT on Starr Road
LEFT on to Markwest Station Road
RIGHT on to Slusser Road
LEFT on to Laughlin Road which you will follow to the entrance of the La Crema Winery where you will enter the La Crema winery and complete a loop on their property. From this point the runners will follow the same course back to the High School. The finish line is located behind the school on the large grassy field.
The swim takes place in the Russian River, the • A falling oak tree injured three riders, including one man who broke his back, delaying the race for at least 15 minutes.
• Some areas of Sonoma County topped 100 degrees Sunday. One participant said of the final leg: “The run just cooked you.”

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