tampabay.com

Cyclists lining up for big weekend

Florida Points Series standings are up for grabs as area USA Cycling racers prepare for Pasco County's double racing weekend.

By JESSICA FISH
Published February 17, 2006


Saturday, riders will compete in the Race For Humanity Road Races, to be held on a variation of the old Darby Road Race course in San Antonio. Lining up at 8 a.m., masters 45-plus will start first, followed by 35-plus, 55-plus, women, professionals and juniors.

Sunday the multilap Race For Humanity criteriums starts at 8 a.m. near downtown Dade City. Hundreds of racers from around the Southeast are expected.

Proceeds from the races will benefit East Pasco Habitat For Humanity, though there will be at least a $6,500 prize purse for top finishers in all categories.

For more information, call Pablo Santa Cruz at 727 741-7250 or Tim Molyneaux at (407) 256-7971 or visit www.floridacycling.com

CYCLOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIPS: Two dates remain for the Florida State Cyclocross Series at Largo Central Park Nature Preserve, 150 Highland Ave., Largo. Races will be Sunday and Feb. 26. These races are USA Cycling sanctioned.

Strongest local teams in the state championship standings have come from Action Wheel Sport, Bicycle Outfitters, Chainwheel Drive, Neptune Cyclery and Revolution Bicycles. More last-minute challenges are sure to come from northern riders.

Call Lance Riddile for details about racing or volunteering at: 727 518-3021, or e-mail lriddile@largo.com

IRONMAN 70.3 LOTTERY: Members of the St. Pete Mad Dogs Triathlon Club recently were selected by event director Steve Meckfessel in a special lottery to compete in the Ford Ironman World Championship 70.3, Nov. 11 in Clearwater.

Lottery winners included Susie Daniels, Paul Ingham and Carole Torreano of Clearwater Beach; Sue Minkoff of Clearwater; Marcos Alegre and Eric Teets of Largo; Dennis Gatto of St. Pete Beach; Larry Witt and Beth Wonicker-Cook of Palm Harbor; Bob Wagoner of Seminole; Rick Downs of North Redington Beach; Michelle Palaganas of Treasure Island; and St. Petersburg's Nung Bedell, Tom Bozich, Pat Brighton, Peter Dubbeld, Nickey Ezell, Sue Fleshman, David Noyes, Jennifer Hutchison, Carolyn Kiper, Lenore Rupert, Dan Tillwick and David Weismantel.

To see photos of the lottery party, log on to www.stpetemaddogs.com

ST. ANTHONY'S TRIATHLON: St. Anthony's Triathlon (swim 1.5 kilometers, bike 40K, run 10K) will celebrate its 23rd anniversary April 28-30 with new event manager Philip LaHaye.

LaHaye was hired to replace Meckfessel, who left after spending years working to develop St. Anthony's Triathlon into a world-class event.

Registration for the season opener reached full capacity within five hours in December. There will be 3,500 competitors and 100 relay teams. This includes Saturday's Meek & Mighty Mini-Tri for kids and rookie adults.

Volunteers on race weekend are welcome.

LaHaye, 33, a former physical therapist and triathlete with Ironman distance experience (he has competed in Ironman triathlons in Brazil, New Zealand and Hawaii), now trains with past world champion Spencer Smith when his schedule allows.

LaHaye's wife, Blair, said she is trying to fit in workouts even though she is busy working as Ironman's public relations director. LaHaye, 30, just moved up from sprint triathlon to half marathon and half Ironman distances, with some success, after being encouraged by her husband.

LaHaye said desite their hectic schedules around racing time, it's a formula that works well. The 30-year-old posted a respectable time of two hours, four minutes, 51 seconds in last month's Gulf Beaches Halfathon in Clearwater

"My goal in this new job as St. Anthony's Triathlon Event Manager, is to give back to the athletes," LaHaye said. "I want to give them a good value, and sometimes that's not always easy, but I'm going to try. I hope to have bigger prizes for top competitors, and more raffles with things like wetsuits, just better prizes and giveaways. It's going to be better and better each year. That's what I'm going to try do to."

To volunteer, visit www.satriathlon.org