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    Summer Sprint Series is ready for second race

    By JESSICA FISH
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published July 10, 2002

    More than 900 triathletes will compete for points in the second Summer Sprint Series race Sunday in Clermont.

    The popularity of the three-race series at Lake Minneola may be due to the mild distance: a .25-mile swim, 11-mile bike ride, and 3.1-mile run. That's short enough for any multisport rookie to finish, even in Florida's heat and humidity.

    Local elites such as Mike Hofstetter of Largo and St.Petersburg's Kathleen Kaye will blast through the hilly bicycle course in less than an hour.

    Later will come the first-timers, who tend to cluster around the water stops, resting before the last dash to the finish line.

    Central Florida Triathletes will play host to Central Florida Kids Triathlon Series No.2 on Saturday at Lake Minneola.

    Distances for the different age groups will be: 100-200 yards of swimming, 3-5 miles of biking, and a mile run.

    The adult race begins Sunday at 7:30 a.m. Sunshine Network will televise the event on Aug.2 at 6 p.m.

    For information, call Fred Sommer, (352) 394-1320; or go online to www.triflorida.com.

    GREAT FLORIDIAN HALF: CFT has announced a new half-Ironman distance event (swim 1.2 miles, bike 56, and run 13.1) to be held Oct.19, the same day as The Great Floridian Ironman race.

    "The half-Iron distance has always been popular with the athletes," Sommer said.

    Clermont's Great Floridian Triathlon has won many honors throughout the past decade, including Race Of The Year awards and national championship designations from USA Triathlon.

    Every October, during the full moon (or close to it), Clermont welcomes an international field of at least 1,000 athletes.

    For information on registering or volunteering at these races, go online to www.greatfloridian.com.

    TRANSPLANT GAMES: Buzz Hoge, a St.Pete Mad Dog triathlete, recently won a silver medal in the bicycle racing competition of the U.S. Transplant Games.

    The day before, he captured gold in the 5-kilometer run. Hoge, of St.Pete Beach, raced in the 60-plus events June 25-29 at Lake Buena Vista.

    A former motocross champion, Hoge enjoys running and triathlons, living a healthy lifestyle after his kidney transplant several years ago.

    "So many people are on the lists and can't get a donor," Hoge said. "These games are supported by the National Kidney Foundation, and it's for a good cause which saves lives."

    The first U.S. Transplant Games were in Texas in 1982.

    Last month's Games in Florida attracted 6,500 athletes, who must be recipients of functioning life-saving solid organ or tissue transplants in order to compete.

    BIKE NATIONALS: Bakersfield, Calif., is the site of the USA Cycling National Masters Road and Time Trials Championships,today-Sunday.

    Headed to the event are Earl Henry (West Coast Wheelmen) of Pinellas Park, Mike McCollum (Outspoken) of Largo, John Sinibaldi (West Coast Wheelmen) of St.Petersburg, and husband and wife David Stedje (BBC/Jetworks) and Sherri Stedje (BBC/Jetworks) of Lutz.

    For results, go online to www.usacycling.org.

    TOP GUN: The Top Gun Triathlon is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. Aug.3 at Fort DeSoto Park.

    Race distances will be a .25-mile swim, 12-mile bike ride, and 3.1-mile run. Top-five awards will be given to elites, masters, age groupers, clydesdale males and females and relay teams.

    For information on racing or volunteering, call Joe Fernandez, (813) 874-7223.

    ROAD TO KONA: The triathlon calendar is at midseason, and the following Floridians have qualified for the Ironman Triathlon World Championships on Oct.19 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii:

    Joe Bonness, Naples; Dean Cosgrove, Tarpon Springs; Laura DeWitt, Brooksville; Sean Hendryx, Clermont; Art Halttunen, St.Petersburg; Glenn Peroni, Clermont; John Reback, N. Palm Beach; Paul Reback, N. Palm Beach; James Sanderson, Tarpon Springs; George Smith, Tampa; Danny Stevens, Dunnellon; and Racheal Wood, Tampa.

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