Vineman Showdown – San Rafael, CA

This is my first tri for this season!  And I am still such a weak person, maybe some training would have helped…  The Vineman Showdown is 400m swim, 9 mile bike, and 3 mile run and starts at 4pm – yes, an afternoon start time.   This fine Saturday afternoon was nice and sunny in San Rafael.  It took me about 1 ½ hour to get from Redwood City to this place, simply due to traffic going through San Francisco.  I left early so I got to the race site approx 2 hrs before start time.  Looking back, I should have taken this time to drive through the bike course so I knew what to expect.  Oh well, lessons learned.

The time came for the course briefing, and I am getting nervous for the bike portion.  The water is 68 degrees F, and will be high tide by race time – which is about 8 feet in this area.  Then they talked about the bike course, and said that the bike course has rolling hills and is windy (as in wine-dee).  The run is out and back fairly flat.


So then 4:10 pm came soon enough, my swim start time.  The swim was not too bad, I stayed with the back of the pack.  Except since I was at the back of the pack, it ws the not so good swimmers, the backstrokers, so I got hit so much also, since the other ladies get in my way.  It wasn’t too bad, they were easily avoidable.  Transition now to bike, here we go.


Getting in and out of the transition was fine, got my running shoes on (I don’t clip in), helmet, gloves, then off I go.  Climbing this 100 meters or so hill before you mount your bike was not so fun though, especially because I was still trying to catch my breath from after the swim.  Then finally the start of the bike; it was first a short downhill then we turn right – to go uphill!  Man, I was not expecting that, I still had my gear on the difficult gear, so I couldn’t change soon enough and had to stop and get off the bike.  Then of course try to get back on the bike on the uphill – good luck!  I just walked it up to the flat area – not too far – then rode again.  The course is out and back, windy, and downhill in the beginning.  Since I am not confident on the downhill, I rode my brakes – three seconds on, three seconds off was supposed to be the strategy.  Instead I did 4 seconds on, 1 second off.  That’s why I heard ON YOUR LEFT several times.  I tried to stay to the right and out of the way.  Finally we get to the turnaround point, and it is uphill this time, well rolling hills really.  I passed this one girl that passed me on the downhill, she was going extremely slow uphill, like she was about to stop!  At least I know I have the skills to go uphill – except in the beginning of this course, which I really didn’t expect to go up right away.  Coming back to the transition seemed shorter than going out but of course that’s not true, it’s the same distance.  Finally dismounted and walked down that same hill this time going down to the transition.


I got in and out of transition again, this time pretty quickly since I don’t need to change shoes.  I could now feel the hills from the bike – my quads were feeling really sore but no time to stretch, I figure it will stretch out when I run.  The run is out and back along the bay.  I was just taking my time since the race is almost over.  It was really uneventful except for a nice view of the water.  Finally to the finish line… they called out “Minel Diaz from Redwood City!”

At the finish, I saw some SVTC people said hello and shared stories.  I was not the only one that got off the bike in the beginning because of the unexpected first quick hill – I guess it would have helped if we saw the first part of the course ahead of time.  Anyway, I still had a fun time during this sprint tri, it’s pretty short, it’s a Vineman brand so I got a Vineman hat J  Is that cheating wearing that hat even if I haven’t done the Vineman 70.3 or the Vineman full distance?  But they gave us the hat.

189 Diaz, Minel Redwood City, CA 36 F 1:42:18.2 31 160 423
swim ( 0:09:49.0 ) t1 ( 0:04:10.9 ) bike ( 0:57:21.9 ) t2 ( 0:01:37.6 ) run (0:29:18.7 )