Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Try a Triathlon Party

Last October I competed in my first triathlon.  It was a neat experience, but it definitely showed me the poor swimmer that I am! Oh...and biker too!  Oh..and not that quick a runner either!  Pretty much the only thing I succeeded in doing well was the party after!! I decided to host a triathlon themed party for my monthly dinner and titled it Showdown @ Sundown.  Your invitation to a triathlon themed party could be an entry form like you would fill out to enter a race or a water bottle with the invitation details rolled up inside. I had guests dress in shirts from past athletic events they had done or running gear.

As guest's approached the door, I had a Race Expo center. I designed a race bib on Microsoft Word that I printed out for each guest.  The clipboard gave directions for racers to find their bib number on the white list, then find their bib for the race.  The table had safety pins for them to pin the bib on their shirt as if they were preparing for the triathlon.

Decor: The table was divided into 3 sections. First was a blue tablecloth with swim caps and goggles for the first section of a triathlon. Second was a black tablecloth with yellow lane dividers and a bike helmet and pedals as a centerpiece. Third was a gray tablecloth to symbolize pavement with running shoes and a water bottle.

Each place setting had a menu card and a PowerBar.  The PowerBar served as the name card with each guest's name written on it -- "Mile-to-Go Michelle, Water-Stud Wendy, etc"

I set up a water station as my beverage table.  I used a huge Gatorade judge as a cooler with ice to chill the bottles of wine.  The Gatorade cups were filled with wine and used as our cups for the evening!

Menu:  I decided to theme each course after a leg of the triathlon.

Appetizer: Ocean Swim
Shrimp Scampi Bake

1 cup butter
2 tablespoons prepared Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 pounds medium raw shrimp, shelled, deveined, with tails attached

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, and parsley.  When the butter melts completely, remove from heat.  Arrange shrimp in a shallow baking dish.  Pour the butter mixture over the shrimp.  Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and opaque.

Main Dish:  Bike Course
Beef Teriyaki Wheels with Rice

1 pound beef round, cut in julienne strips
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Cooked Rice

Cut beef while frozen (1/8” or so thick).  In small bowl, mix together soy sauce, sherry, sugar, ginger, and garlic powder.  Stir in meat and let marinate 10 minutes.  Thread on skewers accordion style and broil 4” from heat 1-2 minutes on each side or until done as desired.  Arrange the skewers as the spokes of a tire and serve on rice.  Makes 4 servings.

 Dessert: Run
“Running” Chocolate Fountain with Dippers

2 bags milk chocolate chips
¼ cup vegetable oil
Dippers: Strawberries, bananas, pound cake, dried apricots

To polish off the evening "race", I treated each guest to a recovery bag as their favor.  The bag contained a bottled water, lotion to massage soreness away, and a Vitamin C recovery boost! To my good friend that let me borrow her bike for the race, I gave a 6 pack of Fat Tire beer that I altered to be called "Flat Tire" -- a joke because I happened to get a flat tire during my triathlon.  That was no fun, but this party definitely was!

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