Sunday, 8 a.m.: Fort DeSoto Adventure Offroad Triathlon. USA Triathlon coach Lewis Bennett will lead the mixed pack of cyclists, triathletes, mountain bikers, and adventure racers through a unique course near Fort DeSoto Park's North Beach Shelter #6.
Bennett's course will include a .5 mile swim segment (if a chilly swim is too daunting, then feel free to opt for the substitute run around the cove), where racers must retrieve a tag; a 10-12 mile bike ride (mountain bikes with knobbies are recommended) through sand, wooded trails, and a few obstacles, with racers retrieving another tag; and a 3-4 mile trail run, complete with more obstacles and the final tag retrieval.
All fun-loving, adventurous athletes are welcome, and so are spectators, photographers, and volunteers. Post-race party at race site.
No race day registration. Visit Bennett's website for information on Saturday practice riding, late registration, and what equipment to bring, www.trilewis.com or call Bennett for more details at 727 319-3570.
Saturday: The holiday cycling season kicks off with the festive Pinellas County Sheriff's Ride & Run With The Stars 2005. Cycling enthusiasts and their families will gather at Fort DeSoto Park on Dec. 3, where ride registration and packet pickup begins at 7 a.m.
Most riders will depart at 8 a.m. for the 25-mile route through Fort DeSoto Park and Tierra Verde. The 10-kilometer Family Ride rolls out at 8:15 a.m., and the 5-kilometer running race begins at 8:30.
Participants usually congregate at the start/finish area, where cycling helmets are replaced by stocking caps. At 10 a.m., the Pinellas Sheriff's helicopter circles the park, and kids come running. The helicopter lands, and riders are greeted by Santa, Mrs. Santa, and the elves who come to Ride With The Stars each year.
Proceeds benefit needy families in the bay area, including Pinellas County Sheriff's Christmas Sharing Project. To donate, volunteer, or register, call Captain Teri Dioquino at 727 582-6301 or log on http://ridewiththestars.com/
Saturday, 7:30 a.m.: Race director Suzanne Henslee and her fellow members of the Safety Harbor Rotary Club host the inaugural Safety Harbor Duathlon in Philippe Park.
Race distances will be 3-mile run, 11-mile bike, 1-mile run. All levels of duathlon competitors are welcome.
The event benefits the Rotary Club of Safety Harbor. The post race party will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. at the gazebo on Main Street.
Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m.: Downtown St. Petersburg will be alive with the sounds of runners and walkers scurrying past with bells tied to their shoes at the Boley Center 23rd annual Jingle Bell Run, starting at the St. Petersburg Pier.
Thousands are expected to take a break from their shopping, entertaining and baking to celebrate at this annual holiday event. Kids of all ages join their families and even family pets are sporting holiday attire.
St. Petersburg's Boley Center will benefit from this event. To volunteer, donate, or register, call 727 821-4819 or go to www.active.com
Jan. 1, noon: The first triathlon of the 2006 season is the St. Pete Mad Dogs Hair Of The Dog Triathlon at Fort DeSoto Park. Race distances vary, and many do a portion of the race, which is actually encouraged. Entry fee is your ugliest (but freshly laundered please!) event T-shirt, and all are welcome. Bring a dish to share.
Since the St. Pete Mad Dogs membership requirements state that new members must complete one triathlon, the Hair Of The Dog Triathlon is affectionately known as a Bone-A-Fide qualifying event for the St. Pete Mad Dogs.
Sign up for the club (and get a team uniform) at the post-event party. All types of bicycles, snorkels, costumes and noisemakers are welcome.