Race Radar: Northern California’s Vineman Monte Rio

When the organizers of the Vineman triathlons got the chance to stage a race in nearby Monte Rio, they jumped at the opportunity.

Photo: Jeff Kapic 2014

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When the organizers of the Vineman triathlons (Ironman 70.3 Vineman, Full Vineman and Barb’s Race) got the chance to stage an Olympic-distance race in nearby Monte Rio (in Sonoma County, Calif.), they jumped at the opportunity. Now in its third year, the race has quickly grown, and the organizers added a sprint-distance race for 2015.

The race is sold out at 1000 people (750 in the Olympic and 250 in the sprint), says Amy Latourette, who’s in charge of Vineman’s Athlete Services and Athlete Registration, and the event promises to be a well-run event with beautiful scenery. “Vineman has put on events for more than 25 years now, and people have come to know the high quality of production for our events,” Latourette says. “I think this is part of what keeps people coming back. And the scenery!”

Unlike the other three Vineman races, which take athletes through four wine growing regions and miles of vineyards, the Rodney Strong Vineman Monte Rio course takes athletes through towering redwood groves and (Olympic-distance athletes) out to the small coastal town of Jenner, where the Russian River meets the Pacific Ocean. The swim is staged in the calm Russian River, just four miles downstream from where the other Vineman triathlons have been held for more than 20 years. The run follows the course that was once the home of the Moscow Road Race, a popular run during the 1970s—it’s flat, fast and shaded almost the entire way. “The town of Monte Rio, where the race is staged, is a throwback in time to another era,” she says. “It’s a good place to go to leave behind the fast pace of San Francisco and the Silicon Valley, if even for just the weekend.”

RELATED PHOTOS: 2014 Ironman 70.3 Vineman


What: Vineman Monte Rio
Where: Monte Rio, Calif.
When: May 31, 2015
Distance: Olympic (1500-meter swim, 40K bike, 10K run), sprint (750-meter swim, 20K bike, 5K run)
Website: Vineman.com

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