St. Petersburg Times Online: News of southern Pinellas County
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

Valuable lessons offered in safety, CPR class

© St. Petersburg Times
published June 26, 2002

What would you do if one of your open-water swimmers suddenly had a problem during a workout in the Gulf?

Could you help a runner having trouble breathing in a humid race? How would you respond to a crash during the bike ride of an event? Is there something you could do to help a person choking?

Start out by taking the Sports Safety Training and Adult CPR course offered by the American Red Cross. Knowing how to respond in an emergency could save a life.

Taking a Red Cross CPR course is something many athletes say they want to do and most licensed coaches are required to do.

If the instructor is an athlete, such as Leslie Stallings, it makes the class even more valuable.

Stallings, of Palm Harbor, is an overachieving champion in kayaking, alpine skiing, triathlon competition and running.

The 5-foot Stallings, never short on courage, has decided to join her fellow St.Pete Mad Dogs in achieving Ironman status. The 39-year-old has talked her boyfriend, Darry Jackson, 54, Seminole, into the same idea.

Jackson will join her and 1,600 others in November's Ironman Florida Triathlon (swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 and run 26.2) in Panama City Beach.

In her spare time, Stallings works as a Red Cross instructor specialist. Her Sports Safety Training and Adult CPR class last Saturday in Tampa attracted a number of coaches and personal trainers.

"This is a class that's near and dear to me," Stallings said. "These are valuable skills to help you take care of each other.

"If you haven't taken a class like this in a while, you will notice that it has changed.

"We will show how coaches can keep their athletes healthy," she said. "And we can expose you to possible choices on what to do in an emergency, but it will ultimately be up to you to decide."

The course addressed situations such as emergency injuries in the playing field, rescue breathing, bike crashes, heart attacks and heat stroke.

In the group was youth soccer coach Steve Mitchell, Tampa Bay Fit executive director Tanya Repka, USA Triathlon coach Roger Burke, and Orlando Magic fitness trainer Dave Damrath, a Level I USA Triathlon coach.

Those interested in learning CPR skills, especially as related to sports, can contact Stallings, (813) 348-4820, ext. 866; or

SAN ANTONIO/SAINT LEO HILLS TRIATHLON: Competitors must register by Saturday for the event in Pasco County.

There will be no race-day registration for Sunday's 7 a.m. triathlon. The distances are a .25-mile swim, 10-mile bike ride and 3.1-mile run.

Housing may be available at Saint Leo University. The awards party is scheduled for 11:30 a.m.

For information, call race organizer York Somerville, (727) 527-8869; or go online to

EXCITING RETIREMENT: Treasure Island's Kip and Carol Jean Vosburgh have been enjoying the summer, e-mailing their cycling itinerary to fellow members of the St.Petersburg Bicycle Club.

Kip rode the 100-mile Assault On Mt.Mitchell in May, and the Vosburghs just finished Bike Virginia.

Kip will top his 100-miler by competing in the Bike Ride Across Iowa. The event better known as RAGBRAI, July 21-27, goes from Sioux Center to Bellevue.

The Vosburghs plan a Backroads Bicycle Tour bike/hike at the Grand Canyon after the Iowa trip.

CLERMONT TRIATHLONS: Fred Sommer and his Central Florida Triathletes will have the second triathlon in their sprint series 7:30 a.m. July 14 at Lake Minneola in Clermont.

Race distances are a .25-mile swim, 11-mile bike ride and 3-mile run.

Winners from the first triathlon, June 2, included elite male overall champion Dave Picciano, 36, Oakland, 51 minutes, 55 seconds; elite female overall champ Sara McLarty, 19, Deland, 59:58; and overall master female Kathleen Kaye, 44, St.Petersburg, 59:22.

Age-group winners were Christina Noordstar, 26, Tampa, 1:01:40; Kim Donaldson, 40, St.Petersburg, 1:02:09; Mary Pulaski, 50, Tampa, 1:08:52; Don Ardell, 63, Tampa, 1:03:38; Roger Schurr, 68, Tampa, 1:16:25; Larry Yost, 71, Treasure Island, 1:21:28; and Jackie Yost, 73, Treasure Island, 1:42:57.

Other winners were Scott Matthews, 42, Tampa, fat tire, 1:06:52; Melanie Rowton, 29, Tampa, fat tire, 1:11:22; Reece Maettich, 33, Tampa, clydesdale, 58:50; and athena champions Laura Gruen, 25, Tampa, 1:13:48, and Shelly Erion, 31, Tampa, 1:13:36.

For information on events in central Florida, including the Great Floridian Ironman Distance Triathlon, go online to or call Sommer, (352) 394-1320.

STRANGEMAN'S BEACH BIATHLON/5K: Steve Strange will have his 10th annual races 6 p.m. July 27 at Palm Pavilion in Clearwater Beach.

Strange will provide entertainment for the crowd, including swimmers, runners and triathletes. Biathlon distances will be 2 miles of running, a .25-mile swim, 2-mile run and .25-mile swim.

Awards will be given at Palm Pavilion Beachside Grill & Bar in five-year categories, clydesdales, relays and top lifeguard finishers. Volunteers are welcome.

For information, call Strange, (727 442-9815.

Back to St. Petersburg area news
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Special Links
Mary Jo Melone
Howard Troxler