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Regional triathlon titles claimed by two Florida pros
By JESSICA A. MUNDIE
© St. Petersburg Times, published May 17, 2000
PANAMA CITY BEACH -- Floridians Alec Rukosuev and Alison Hayden were the top professionals in last Saturday's 18th Gulf Coast Southeast U.S. Championship Triathlon at Panama City Beach.
Rukosuev, 33, a former Soviet swimmer now living in Apopka, won for the fifth time (he had a four-year streak from 1993-1996) in 4 hours, 12 minutes, 21 seconds.
Hayden, 28, who recently moved to Dade City to manage Pasco's San Antonio Cyclery, successfully defended her title in 4:48:26.
Conditions were the toughest in years at the half-Ironman event (swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles, run 13.1 miles), which is known as the largest in the United States in terms of participants. The record field of 1,955 closed out registration months ago, and the heat index of 90 degrees gave hundreds of volunteers their own challenge.
Hayden began by exiting the rough surf in 30:39, winning the $500 prime for fastest female swim split. St. Anthony's Triathlon amateur winner Laura Drake, 31, a St. Petersburg native now living in Atlanta who purchased a professional racing license last week, went after Hayden on the bike.
Texan Andrea Fisher led after the bike leg, followed by Hayden, amateur Kasey Carroll-Basso of Lutz, and Drake. Some 3 hours had passed, with the wind blowing on the bike course, the thermometer already at 80 degrees, and the humidity almost the same as the temperature.
Drake's plan was to run her competition down in the half-marathon. She almost succeeded.
But a smiling Hayden flew past Fisher at Mile 12 and was pushed by Drake to run 1:36:03. Drake won the $500 for her female-best split of 1:32:39, but it wasn't good enough to win. Fisher hung on for second and Drake placed third.
Top bay area age-group winners included Carroll-Basso, 4:57:03; Philip Lahaye, 27, of Palm Harbor, 4:46:37, and Bob Ranta, 68, of Sun City Center, 6:50:10.
MOUNTAIN BIKING: Lakeland's Carter Road Park was the Sunshine State Games mountain bike racing venue last weekend.
Among top local riders, Team Action Wheelsports' Tom and Chad Schiferl of St. Petersburg and Markus and Karl Mittermayr of South Pasadena won individual medals.
Tom Schiferl won gold in the Clydesdale division, son Chad won bronze in Junior Men, Markus won bronze in Beginner Masters, and son Karl won bronze in Junior Men Beginner 2.
For complete mountain bike race results, go online at www.goneriding.com.
TAMPA OFF-ROAD RIDES: Joining Team Action Wheelsports in promoting mountain biking, Mike Ward's Flatland Mountain Bikes in Tampa invites all levels of riders to call for weekly organized trail rides and classes. Ward can be reached at (813) 901-9000.
OUTSPOKIN, TEAM MAGIC UNITE: Road rider Paul Williams has taken over management of a large bicycle racing team. Team MAJIC (Masters And Juniors In Cooperation) has merged with new Largo bicycle shop Outspokin, owned by Donny Liles.
Joining Outspokin's Jim Marshall, Tour de France green jersey winner Erik Zabel, an East German professional from the Telekom team, returned to visit and ride with Outspokin riders.
According to locals, when pack speeds approached 30 mph on Gulf Boulevard, Zabel never stopped joking about his son's request for Pokeman cards as he cruised effortlessly with a relaxed grasp on the handlebars.
Outspokin/Team MAJIC welcomes race resumes in all cycling categories. Call Marshall or Williams at (727) 586-4545. RECUMBENTS RISE IN POPULARITY: Seminole's Bicycle Outfitters recently sold St. Petersburg Bicycle Club member Vic Morgan his first recumbent bicycle (the reclining style that turns heads on the Pinellas Trail) and he loves it.
Bicycle Outfitters told Morgan that recumbents account for more than 40 percent of its bicycle sales. Back problems, discomfort and sensitive necks are put at ease on these bicycles. For test rides and organized recumbent rides, call John Johnson at (727) 319-2453. REVOLUTION IS MOVING: Revolution Bicycles at 3125 Fourth St. N in St. Petersburg has weekly morning rides from the shop. Owner Bill Addler invites all riders to call for schedules at (727) 522-5510.
CHAINWHEEL YOGA CLASS: Chainwheel Drive, 1770 Drew St. in Clearwater, is hosting a free cycling-specific yoga class by certified yoga instructor Ann Louise-Reinhart at 7:15 p.m. May 25.
Reinhart, mother of mountain bike racer Martin Reinhart, will focus on flexibility and cycling lung capacity. Riders should bring towels or mats. Class size limited to 20. Call (727) 441-2444.
MAD BEACH MAD DOG TRIATHLON: The Mad Dogs are howling, and York Somerville is organizing. Finishing touches are being made on the upcoming weekend of fun in Madeira Beach. Many multi-sport enthusiasts are planning to compete, spectate or volunteer at a water stop.
The Mighty Kids Mini-Tri will be at 8 a.m. Saturday. Somerville is well-known for his generous prizes for kids and juniors. The Mighty Adults Mini-Tri will be at 10 a.m. Saturday. Registration for both races begins at 6:30 a.m. at Archibald Park, near the Holiday Inn, at Gulf Boulevard and 150th Avenue.
The Mad Beach Mad Dog Triathlon for adults only will be at 7 a.m. Sunday. Distances are swim .5 mile, bike 15 miles, run 3.1 miles.
A post-race party, expo, and awards presentation will be hosted by Durango Steakhouse, Ya Ya's Chicken and Subway.
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