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On a cooler than normal day in Sonoma County, a record field of athletes hit the 73-degree water in the Russian River to start the 2009, 20th Anniversary Vineman Triathlon. The trademark marine layer that was absent two weeks previous for the Vineman 70.3 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.
2008 champions Dan Arlandson (Burnsville, MN.) and Whitney Henderson (Lafayette, CO) were able to defend their titles, the first time this has happened in the history of the event. After trailing by seven minutes out of the water Arlandson was able to quickly put 9 minutes into his competitors by the 57 mile mark of the bike ride on the way to a race best 4:53:43 bike split. By virtue of his bike split Arlandson never had to look back on taking his victory. Van McCarty’s (San Luis Obispo, CA.) race best 2:58:24 run split launched him to second place just ahead of Brendan O’Brien (Morgan Hill, Ca.) who finished third.
In the women’s race, even though she led wire to wire, Whitney Henderson never had quite the lead Arlandson had in the men’s race. Always lurking 5 to 7 minutes behind during the bike ride was France’s Marie Protat. Protat entered T2 and started the run 7 minutes 30 seconds down but quickly took 3 minutes out of Henderson’s lead on lap one of the three lap course. Henderson’s lead stayed at 4 minutes 30 seconds through the second lap until Protat faded after charging hard to challenge for the win. Deborah Battagula (Salt Lake City, UT.) rounded out the women’s podium on a great day of racing in Sonoma County.
Sonoma County, Calif. – August 1, 2009
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run
1) Dan Arlandson – 9:13:10
2) Van McCarty – 9:25:27
3) Brendan O’Brien – 9:28:41
4) David Glover – 9:53:38
5) Jady Palko – 9:58:47
1) Whitney Henderson – 10:21:54
2) Marie Protat – 10:30:17
3) Deborah Battagula – 11:15:15
4) Carla McMurtrey – 11:33:33
5) Melinda Nagle – 11:42:52