We can’t believe it’s close to the end of triathlon season. While it has been a quiet one for us, it has still flown by. Since we know it can be difficult as the partner of a triathlete during race season, why not take advantage of this time of year to celebrate that you get a bit of a break and have a party!
It’s a good time to show your support for your triathlete and invite friends and family to join in the celebration. And, it certainly doesn’t have to be all triathletes – shake up the guest list and include non-triathletes to join in…
We’ve had many parties over the years, so decided to share some tips for planning a triathlete party to make the day a lot of fun and not stressful. The good thing about an end of the season party is that you don’t have to worry so much about what you serve and it doesn’t have to end early if you’re doing adults only – they can now stay up until 10pm! Of course, we still stay pretty healthy, but if you want to serve fried anything and decadent desserts – go right ahead!
We’re just listing some options here, so you can pick and choose or let us know your great ideas. How you plan the party really depends on if it’s day or night, kids or no kids. And all you triathletes out there – YOU BETTER APPRECIATE THE EFFORT…
TIPS FOR THROWING AN END OF TRIATHLON SEASON PARTY
If time permits, design your invite or evite with the team, if appropriate, or a race logo using an evite company like Paperless Post. You can also use them to design a ready-made, quick invite like I did below. Invitations are so easy to do on-line and really add a nice touch.
You certainly don’t have to do this at all or get elaborate, but if you do choose to decorate, here are a few ideas.
- Have a banner made either on-line or at a local office supply store or graphic arts store that would be appropriate for how the season went. If they’re going to the World Championships next year, it’s a no brainer, but since this probably isn’t the case, just a “We’re So Proud of Our Triathlete” or “The Omaha Triclub Rocks” can suffice.
- For table decorations, you could use Gu or peanut butter packets, snack size candy bars, and/or hand warmer packets as table glitter or maybe cut up their in-season training schedules and use as confetti – you know you want to!
- If you’re hosting for a race team or triclub, use their colors in your decorations.
- If you really want to embarrass your triathlete, blow up an unflattering picture of them during a race or if you want to be nicer, crossing the finish line, and put on display.
- Hang or place any race posters they collected this season around the house or yard.
You can go wild here and pretty much plan with abandon. No need to focus on carbs, no drinking, and super healthy. Yeah! You can plan this just like any other party with no real need to consider triathlete training/race diets.
We do love potlucks as these parties are usually more casual affairs and often include kids. But, they do work best if you’re a part of a triclub that is celebrating and let’s everyone get involved in the spirit of the event. Taco bars also are a great idea, are easy to prepare, everyone tends to like, and people can fix their own. Plus, you can do meat, fish, and vegetarian to make everyone happy. Your menu is totally your choice, it just depends on the time of year and where you live – inside or outside party.
We always fix a specialty or signature cocktail and then offer the usual, i.e. beer, wine, water, and soda. Maybe you can come up with your own “Tritini” like we did. We also always love a Sangria and even adapted our summer Sangria for fall. And don’t forget to go all out on desserts as they’ve been depriving themselves for many months. Dana’s indivdual Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp is a good start.
- If you’re able to hold the party outside or have really high ceilings, stop by your local tri-store and ask for free samples to fill a piñata. Yes, we said piñata! Triathletes love their swag, you know. Fill it with Gu packages, mini bars, a bike tube or two, hand warmer packets, peanut/almond butter packets – you get the idea. Just nothing that could cause physical damage to someone’s head when it falls. You can buy custom pinatas on line – get creative and download the image of a bike or the face of your triathlete or tri team. And, if you will be having kids, make one for them, too.
- If you’re hosting a triclub, create your own guessing game with questions from little known facts about each triathlete and have everyone guess who it is. Ask your fellow tripartners or have each triathlete spill a secret. Like “Who lost 5 minutes of their time stopping to go to the bathroom on the bike ride”? Or “Which triathlete really wants a white kit, but is afraid everyone will make fun of them?” Or “Who finally learned to pee in their pants on the bike?” The more embarrassing the better!
- We love to play games like Jenga GIANT, Charades, and Pictionary; anything that gets people relaxed and having fun. This is the time to let loose and not be too serious. Bob for apples if you want. Plus, games can help steer the conversation away from triathlon, especially if some of your guests are not triathletes.
- If you REALLY want to keep the triathlete season going, consider having the party when the 2015 World Championships air on TV and let them all watch. Last year it aired on NBC on Nov. 15.
- While the triathletes are discussing how their season went, this is your opportunity to chat with fellow triwives/partners and share war stories and advice. It’s a good chance for you to make like-minded friends.
- Give parting goody bags, but they don’t have to be filled with triathlete-related items post-season, like we do for pre-season. Plus, there’s no reason to do separate triathlete and supporters’ bags, either. You can design your own on-line with a logo or picture and then maybe fill with small tubes of sunscreen, hand warmer packets (can you tell we like these for winter?), hand sanitizer (cold and flu season coming up), lip balm, and candy; anything you like.
We hope this gives you some good ideas for planning your party. We’re sure it will be a huge success and a lot of fun.