Eight alumni from the Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA Program will spend Sunday (July 18) in the Wine Country but they won't be sipping chardonnay. Instead, the team will be testing its mettle among the vineyards, swimming 1.2 miles in the Russian River, biking 56 miles, and running 13.1 miles of rolling hills, all as part of the Vineman Ironman 70.3 Triathlon in Sonoma County.
This is the second time that the Berkeley-Columbia program has assembled an Ironman team: Twelve students competed in Hawaii’s Ironman in May 2009. Four of those teammates — Sean Casey, Patrick Dempsey, Caroline Lee, all MBA 09, and Mona Patel, MBA 10 — are returning for the Vineman and have persuaded four colleagues with a range of triathlon experience to join them. The four new members of the team are Tracy Ericson, Kristina Hentschel, Ken Peartree, and Joy Ulickey, all from the class of 2010.
Hentschel, a four-time Ironman finisher, says the class of 2009 organized the inaugural Ironman effort “to get back into shape after 19 months of the sitting, snacking, and studying.” Ericson was recruited to continue the tradition by rallying members of the class of 2010, and Hentschel helped select coaches to train the crew.
Hentschel, who is CFO for Women’s Professional Soccer in San Francisco, says the team dedicated between 9 and 18 hours each week to training. "A typical week included three swim, bike, and run workouts and two strength sessions, with Monday as rest day,” she says.
Hentschel adds, “Training for and participating as a group in a 70.3 Ironman event offers Berkeley-Columbia alumni the opportunity to continue to challenge themselves physically and mentally in new ways, improve their fitness, and to perpetuate the collegial spirit of the program across classes, while having a ton of fun.”