Friday, July 27, 2007

Vineman 70.3 (Half Ironman) July 22, 2007

Vinod and I signed up for half Vineman as a training race for Ironman Canada – Vinod unfortunately ended up with a flat at mile 45 – since the glass on the road had torn his tire the replaced tube also flatted immediately. He waited for some help as he had run out of tubes. A fellow racer gave him a spare tube and with some ingenuity he fixed the issue by using an empty GU gel packet to cover the hole in he tire and inflated the new tube! All this cost him over half an hour – else Vinod too was on track for a 5:40ish finish.

Anil Rao, Rajeev Patel and Alan Geraldi started running their Tahoe Rim Trail 100 miler on Saturday – this race had a 35 hour cutoff – Alan finished in 27 hours – Rajeev & Anil finished in 34 hours! TRT is considered one of the toughest Ultra-marathons…Anil & Alan chose to make this their first 100 miler! Amazing!

The highlights of my race:

Swim 1.2 miles: The swim was horrible – too shallow and too crowded – I got kicked/hit right through and never got into a good rhythm.

Transition 1 (T1): Took me 2 minutes to find my bike…either I’m getting old or I had one too many kicks to the head during the swim!

Bike 56 miles: The bike section was great – maintained 19mph avg almost right through – got stung by a bee at mile 40 that was PAINFUL! I had a tough time trying to get the stinger out without falling off my bike. Bike time of 2:58:33 is my fastest in a half.

Transition 2 (T2): I struggled to get my glove off as my finger had swollen up due to the bee sting.

Run 13.1 miles: Run was like a flash back – I remembered the course very clearly even though the last time I ran it was 2002 during the full Ironman (same course twice) – the temp had gone up to a nice toasty 87F. There was a slight irritation around the left knee (tight ITB), managed to stick to a decent pace and finished in 1:56:22.

Stan took some videos,
Mile 12:

Mile 12.75:

The finish time of 5:48:29 was 18 minutes faster than my previous best!

Every time I do one of these races I get reenergized and inspired

Inspiring moment: At mile 7 I saw a runner limping really badly – I stopped to ask if he needed help in stretching it out – he said with a smile “It is a little worse then that” – I then asked if he was cramping – and offered him some salt tabs…he then said “Thank you so much but I have MS” I was blown away – here is a man who is afflicted with this ailment which to date has no cure…he was out there doing a half Ironman! There is no limit to the human spirit. We take so much for granted.

My biking / running buddy Stan drove over to Santa Rosa to cheer us on, at one spot I said my ITB was acting up and Stan said – “Come on Rajeev just think of your friends who are running a 100 miler – imagine what they are going through!” - Thanks Stan I needed that.

Vinod’s team mate Doug Fujii finished the race in 5:20 – which gave him an outside chance of getting one of the Clearwater, FL - 70.3 World Championship spots. He missed it by 2 people! That was really sad. You’ll get it next year for sure Doug.

All in all a great race.