Vineman now lies a week in the past, and I can only send my biggest accolades to race director Russ Pugh and his staff for putting on such an outstanding event, year after year. After last year's 20th anniversary edition one would have thought that he couldn't top things, but he did with a fully carpeted transition area for the 50+ Pro racers and a finish line set-up that rivaled the world's biggest races. My buddy Wes, a.k.a. Keebler, had taken my advice and traveled with the entire clan to Santa Rosa to participate in this year's race, and neither he nor Susan, the kids, Amy or Tracy, or Jack and Cindy were disappointed. They all had a great time, and Keebler shaved almost half an hour off his previous half-Ironman PR.
|The finish area of the 2011 Ironman 70.3 Vineman|
|Anna, Susan, and Alli in Judy's favorite place|
|My friends and family|
|Jenny with pre-champagne product at Korbel|
|Lake Tahoe seen from Eagle Falls|
|Jenny and Holly on one of our hikes|
|Shabby hovel on Lake Tahoe|
|A different view of the lake|
Sun-tanning, sushi, and a visit to The Brewery at Lake Tahoe rounded out our strenuous activities. Thanks, Holly and Dennis, for opening your home!
In the remaining three days back in Reno before my departure for hot Texas Jenny and I went on several bike rides. Good thing that I had brought the Ritchey along since I clocked a little more than 100 miles in those three days. We visited the charming Washoe valley with its protected wetlands, and after a hearty breakfast at The Squeeze in Truckee we rode the bikes along the river over to Tahoe City (on the north shore) and continued to marvel at the scenery. If you check the brew-pub section to the right, you'll see that the area doesn't lack in watering holes, and I made the best of it.
|The Ritchey enjoyed the rides as much as I did|
One evening, Jenny's friends Russ and Margo came over to the house and I had a chance to totally screw up a totally perfect piece of wild sockeye salmon. Alas, I didn't, and despite working with an unfamiliar grill I was able to turn out a fine example of culinary art. Still, I hate being put under pressure like that. So I repeated the next night with another fillet and a different recipe!
|Russ, Jenny, and Margo about to be sample the sockeye|