We arose early, to grab some coffee and fruit and headed out at 7 to the race site. We found Sara there by phone. Sam was in an early wave, and was in the water by the time we got there, so we waited on the beach for him to come out. Their running friend Gretchen was also racing, but we missed her. After Sam came out, we went to the transition area, but he was too quick by the time we got over the bridge.
We crossed the other ped bridge and chatted with Sara and her friends from East Troy and Amy, her BFF from Whitewater who arrived soon after dropping off Sara. Our Sarahâ€™s friend from Woodstock, Alexis, now living in St. Paul, met us on the beach. Sara moved off to occupy her slot in Wave 39, and waited to go into the water. We found in her in the chute out to the water, and then moved to the other side of the beach to wait for her to come out.
After she came out in a surprisingly short 20 minutes (Sara did the sprint course, and swam much better than she expected) we tried to get thru the crowds on the ped bridge to the transition area. Bette pushed a little and butted in line, and saw Sara. We didnâ€™t, but waited to see Sam come in from his bike. He came in about Â½ hour later, and by that time we were found by Uncle Lou. We cheered, he came to kiss Karin, and he was off on the run. Sara came in about 30 minutes later, and we cheered her and she trotted off on her shorter run.
Then we headed off to the finish line, staked out our spot near the bridge, and waited. Sara came in soon, and then Sam and Gretchen. Turns out Gretchen was cramping and was feeling bad and bailed before the 2nd lap.
We headed back to Sam and Karinâ€™s and made burgers and dogs for lunch and visited. Alexis and Gretchen headed out, and we prepared for our evening with Chef Vincent.
Sam ran this there with Chef Vincentâ€™s team, a fundraiser for Fraser, a support organization for Minnesota special needs persons and their families. Sam raised quite a bit, including OUR donation, and all the team runners got a nice Chef Vincent running jersey and invites to the post-race party at his establishment, Vincent: A Restaurant in the Nicollet Mall. We valet parked and passed white linen alfresco seating and were directed up the stairs.
We were on time, and it was still empty, but the wine was out and some of the food was there, so we dug in. Vincent is a French native, and the restaurant leans French, but he had an eclectic combo of appetizers â€“ and lots of them. My favorite was the Veggie tempura and the salmon toast, and the beef thingies â€“ heck it was all good. Nothing was bad. Okay, the fries were the real thin ones, and those are very hard to keep warm. Everything else was great.
Sam and I talked to Vincent, and he is an interesting guy. Nice, and with a lot to say. We chatted about his work with the organization and his restaurant. Then I spoke with a gentleman, Joe, who is taking Vincent and a bunch of bikers to ride around Provence. Joe’s Mello Velo tours were about $3K less airfare, but the idea of waking up at 10, riding thru wonderful countryside, and returning to a chef-cooked dinner sounds really nice. Except they do 100 miles a day – a bit much for this couch potato.
We headed back to the house, and sat on the porch with some more wine discussing how weird our families are till 11. Time for bed.
The next morning, Amy and Sara, along with Lou and Joan came by for a fresh Frittata breakfast from Chef Sam. Joan and Sara rode back with us to the Fort and home.
Vincent: A Restaurant, 11th Street and Nicollet Mall