Dahlz Defends, Crawford Triumphs at 23rd Annual Full Vineman Triathlon
On what turned out to be a typically warm day in Sonoma County, a record field of athletes hit the 71 degree water in the Russian River to start the 23rd Annual Full Vineman Triathlon. The trademark marine layer was a welcome site on race morning for athletes and the thousands of spectators in attendance for the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run.
Defending champion John Dahlz of South San Francisco, CA came into the race shy on the training he thought necessary to repeat last year's winning performance. But he was able to hold onto his title and take home Vineman's entire $4000 prize bonus. Leading out of the swim in 48:30 Dahlz continued to put time into all his competitors on the bike with the exception of only Jady Palko (Windsor, CA). Still, Dahlz arrived at T2 with a lead of 22 minutes. Once he had two feet on the ground, where many thought the runners would immediately start taking time back from the slightly unprepared champion, Dahlz actually put time into most everyone through the 13 mile mark. From there Dahlz needed to grit his teeth and keep focus on the task at hand to not only hang on for the win but also to finish under the time cutoff to earn the $4,000 prize money bonus that was up for grabs for men who finish under 9:30 and women who finish under 10:30. He took it down to the wire as he appeared in the finish chute with 90 seconds to spare and crossed the finish line in a time of 9:29:28. Joe Czabaranek (Beaver Creek, OH.) with a race best 3:06:24 run split, launched himself into second place near the 21 mile mark, passing eventual third place finisher and 2007 Vineman champion Bob Shebest (Santa Rosa, CA).
In the women's race Joanne Gilchrist, the likely slated winner, led the race through most of the bike and well into the first loop of the three loop run until Katie Hafen (Midway, UT) made her way to the lead. Though running strong, Hafen couldn't hold off a hard charging Polly Crawford (Murietta CA.) who took over the lead position just shy of the 13 mile mark near the turn on lap 2. Crawford continued to slowly extend her lead and ended up running a women's race best 3:38:12. Kara LaPoint (Truckee, CA) rounded out the women's podium on a great day of racing in Sonoma County.
TOP FIVE MEN
1) John Dahlz - South San Francisco, CA 9:29:28
2) Joe Czabaranek - Beaver Creek, OH 9:39:11
3) Bob Shebest - Santa Rosa, CA 9:46:01
4) Jady Palko - Windsor, CA 9:52:55
5) Ryan Calsbeek - Randolph, VT 10:03:46
TOP FIVE WOMEN
1) Polly Crawford - Murrieta, CA 10:36:03
2) Katie Hafen - Midway, UT 10:46:39
3) Kara Lapoint - Truckee, CA 10:54:58
4) Catharine Pieck - Basalt, CO 11:10:37
5) Melanie Clayton - Orem, UT 11:22:35