Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hoot-n-Holler it's Healdsburg in July!!!

So before I write a mammoth post about last weekend's  TOMRV bike tour, I have to share a delightful story that I stumbled upon amidst the epic weekend.  Friend Jilly introduced me to a woman that she describes as knowing "since we were three" and having done triathlon and ironman for just as long.  A kindred soul, indeed.  Long time Ironman-er, PE teacher, and lover of life. 

Nancy's the gal second from the right (from her blog)

 Nancy also blogs about her terrific adventures, most particularly her most recent attempt to complete one marathon in each state...yes...one marathon in each state.  Fifty marathons? Holy Moly, Macaroni!   Jilly kindly introduced me as having done "a fistful of Ironmans" (Jilly has raced in all ten Madison Ironman and at least one other (Kona), probably others along the way.  So Nancy, it turns out, gets to chatting with me about where I've raced Ironman.  Canada (yes, both of us) and Vineman, back in the nineties.  I ask which year, and she can't quite remember, but shares with me that she is trying to prove she raced Vineman, so she can check California Marathon off her list.  I shared with my newfound friends that I might have evidence of her race results and their jaws dropped. "You save that stuff?"  I replied, "Not always, but I have a scrapbook, and I saved results from Vineman, back in the day when you waited a month or more for hard copy of race results rather than instantly available on the web."  So sure 'nuff, I go home and start plowing through my scrapbook, and there it is, plain as day, the second year I raced Vineman (1995) Nancy was there along side me.  In fact, our run times were only seconds apart, and our swims pretty close as well.  What a thrill! It's been seventeen long years since then, many life events, and here we are, still plugging away at a sport that has exploded in scale, popularity, expense, and everything else.  True Believer, Indeed!  Nancy looks absolutely terrific and is as charismatic as they come. 

Vintage Ironman:Northern California!
upon close inspection, tri-geeks, you might notice my tendency to explode on the run is long standing, but not terminal.
So much to notice in this old race packet.  The small number of sponsors, primarily local companies, somewhat related to healthy lifestyle.  Small number of participants.  20 female finishers, total, and this in an Ironman Hawaii qualifying race!  One of my fondest memories of those old times was that not only was there a reasonable shot for some of these awesome athletes to qualify for Hawaii, but the Kona slots were distributed at the awards ceremony, at which one must be present to take qualifying spot.  There was always one magic slot, a lottery, so to speak, reserved for one finisher of the complete Vineman.  Just think. Someone finishing late in the day, or with a not blistering race, by virtue of finishing Vineman and attending the awards ceremony, at which point they could applaud the age group podium finishers, this person could gain that coveted spot at Hawaii Ironman.  A reason to finish the race on what always is a tough day.   I remember whomever won that spot, they'd holler out from the rear of the Healdsburg Theater, where the ceremony was held, and it was truly the most exciting time of the weekend.  Those were terrific times!!!


  1. Thanks, John! You'll notice I was racing with the number 7 on my chest...the highest honor was paid to me because the year Prior (1994) i was second Overall. An accomplishment that I haven't matched, yet! It's all about managing one's systems through bike AND run!

  2. How wonderful to reconnect after all those years! I love when that happens. And I've always known that you rocked, in triathlon as in other things. I feel fortunate to have you as a triathlon, mentor, and friend. I definitely had the right person to train with for my first Ironman in Wisconsin 2008 :)

    1. Scott get back here and play with us! it's as fun as ever! Forget the Castro and come home! I know, I know, not that easy, but you are missed by me, especially!!

  3. Remind me to tell you an emotional story of a gal who won a spot to Kona a couple years ago (2010?) in my age group....

  4. Thanks so much for the kind words, the shout out and SAVING a re do in CA. Love your blog
    Be awesome today