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Good Life Games bring out the best in 50-over athletes

By JESSICA A. MUNDIE

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 22, 2000


Last Saturday's Good Life Games cycling competition featured 5-kilometer and 10-kilometer events at windy Fort DeSoto Park. Organizer Shirley Lewis, who has put her heart and soul into the Games since 1988, watched dozens of cyclists age 50 and up spin small gears into the wind to East Beach, then fly with the tailwinds to the finish line.

Included in the turnout of masters cyclists were a few Pinellas County married couples who compete in swim/bike/run events together now that the kids are grown. These folks are usually the envy of their less-than-fit (and often younger) neighbors, who get used to seeing them load bikes, kayaks and other toys onto the car roof rack each weekend.

Good Life Games cyclist Carol Jean Vosburgh not only won the age 55-59 5K run in 23 minutes, 5 seconds, she also won both of her cycling events. Her gold-medal times were 10:05 for the 5K and 18:30 for the 10K. That earned her the award for First Overall Female.

Vosburgh's husband Kip also packed up three golds to take home to Treasure Island, winning the ages 50-54 5K run in 23:15 and the cycling events in 8:47 for 5K and 17:01 for 10K.

"Usually it's me who beats her in running," Vosburgh said, "but I went easy so I wouldn't leave my race in my running shoes. I'm happy with my two rides. I just changed my bike position radically and it helped a lot.

"But Carol Jean is very competitive," he added. "She beat me in the New York City Marathon, where we went on our honeymoon a decade ago. We were to meet at a certain mile marker, and my friends saw her way up ahead. I've been chasing her ever since."

This couple has fun, but make no mistake: Both are tough, seasoned competitors. Kip Vosburgh was a star runner at his North Carolina high school, doing the mile in 5:03. He was helped by his father, who was a physician as well as the track coach.

Carol Jean Vosburgh is a registered nurse, a champion age-group triathlete, and a member of the St. Pete Mad Dogs Triathlon Club. If her form continues to soar, especially with the help of cardiologists who are monitoring her heart rate since surgery a season ago, she will be at the top of the St. Anthony's Triathlon masters results.

MORE GOOD LIFE SUPERSTARS: St. Petersburg Bicycle Club's Tom Stevenson of Tierra Verde won gold medals in both 55-59 cycling events, Jackie Yost of Treasure Island remains undefeated among 70+ women, and Brian McGrath won both 80+ events ahead of Olympian John Sinibaldi.

Sinibaldi, 86, then headed down to Sarasota on Sunday to win both 80+ events in qualifying for the Senior Games in Kissimmee this November.

Other riders who took home silver were Jean "Oui Oui" Georgeon of St. Petersburg and newcomer Shirley Taylor of Largo, who is ranked as an All-American triathlete.

For more information, check out www.goodlifegames.org.

FORT DE SOTO TRIATHLON: More action at the fort will include the popular season-opening (swim .5 mile, bike 15.5 miles, run 3.1 miles) Fort De Soto Triathlon on April 15 beginning at 7:30 a.m.

Awards divisions for .5-mile swim, 15.5-mile bike leg and 3.1-mile run will include elite male and female, age groups, Clydesdales, Athenas, Clydesdale masters, Athena masters, masters male and female, top St. Pete Mad Dog male and female, and relay teams.

Included will be a post-race party, massage, T-shirts, tech support and special prizes. Kids must be at least 15 years of age.

"We are already getting lots of entries for Fort De Soto's Y2K race," said Fred "Rizzie" Rzymek, owner of Design Sports of Clearwater and a longtime race organizer and sponsor.

"This year's triathlon will be huge with the elite division and the amazing number of newcomers to the sport. Our race always has a few surprises in it. We always want to make the course fun for the athletes."

For further information on the Fort De Soto Triathlon, call (727) 712-9999 or check www.activeusa.com.

SHARE THE ROAD: The Florida Department of Motor Vehicles will begin selling the new Share The Road specialty license plates on April 17. The plate will cost $17 over and above the usual fee.

Of the $17, $2 will go to the State of Florida for processing and administration. The remaining $15 is split equally between Bike Florida and the Florida Bicycle Association.

Share The Road license plate proceeds benefit bicycle, pedestrian and motorist education programs for the safe sharing of Florida's roadways.

Check the Bike Florida web site at www.bikeflorida.org, and the Florida Bicycle Association web site at www.floridabicycle.org.

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