Ninth Strangeman's Beach Biathlon is set
By JESSICA FISH
© St. Petersburg Times,
Open-water endurance swimmer Steve Strange says he will have a party with "giveaways galore" at Palm Pavilion in Clearwater Beach on Saturday. The event will play host to the ninth annual Strangeman's Beach Biathlon post-race awards ceremony.
Strange, a swimming champion and triathlete from Clearwater, has several hundred signed up for his unique run-swim/run-swim competition, which begins at 6 p.m. A 5-kilometer beach run is scheduled for those who prefer not to dive into the Gulf, and relay teams are forming for both races. Clydesdale male and female divisions will compete for prizes, and five-year age groups will win awards. Strange will give a special award to the top lifeguard finisher.
"The response has been just awesome," Strange said. "Our beach here is so pretty. All this race needs is good weather." For information, call Strange, (727) 442-9815. Register at Palm Pavilion, off Mandalay Ave. in Clearwater Beach, from 4:30-5:45 p.m. Saturday.
A major portion of the proceeds will be donated to The American Lung Association.
BIKE FLORIDA: The Bike Florida Rally and Summit is scheduled for Sept. 13-16 at Grenelefe Resort in Haines City.
Bike Florida is a non-profit organization established to promote safe cycling. The program's most visible contribution to the sport has been an automobile license plate that reads "Share The Road" and pictures a cyclist. The plate raises funds that go directly to Bike Florida programs.
The rally will include rides of 20-100 miles, group activities and food. For information, call (407) 343-1992, or go online to www.bikeflorida.org.
IRON SKYREV: The St. Pete Mad Dog's Gene White, a senior pastor at Skycrest Baptist Church, is training to compete in Ironman Florida -- a full distance (2.4-mile swim, biking 112 miles, 26.2-mile run) event Nov. 10 in Panama City Beach.
White, who goes by the nickname "Skyrev", has his weekly congregation behind him. He's competing to raise funds for the Suncoast Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
White, a relatively new rider, had his racing Cannondale updated with light wheels, and friends have been teasing the rookie to shave his legs. White's bike training on Saturday mornings is 80-90 miles in hilly Pasco County, and his confidence is growing.
WOODRUFF INJURED: John Woodruff (Team DigMe Sports) of St. Petersburg is one of the area's top triathletes, but he has been out of competition since last April's St. Anthony's Triathlon.
Woodruff, a Lakewood High Schol graduate who is a standout runner, has been sidelined with an Achilles injury. In the meantime, he's been busy working the Dig Me Sports race expo booth at triathlons from Texas to Oregon.
PEDAL & PADDLE: Suwannee Bicycle Association will present the annual Dog Days Pedal & Paddle on Friday-Sunday at Suwannee River State Park, near Live Oak.
The Pedal & Paddle is popular with the kayak, canoe and off-road riding crowd. The event site is close to where the Withlacoochee and Suwannee rivers merge. Riders can plan to enjoy swimming, camping, tubing on the rivers, food, live family entertainment and scenic bicycling.
For registration and volunteer information, call (850) 878-7927, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The ride web site is www.canopy.net/dogdays.
TOP GUN TRIATHLON: Florida Race Place will play host to the Top Gun Triathlon on Aug. 11 at Fort DeSoto's North Beach.
Race distances will be a .25-mile swim, bike 12 miles and a 3.1-mile run. The first wave leaves the beach at 7:30 a.m.
Awards will be given in five-year age divisions, including relay teams, masters, military, clydesdales and elites. The race is sanctioned by USA Triathlon.
A post race party and entertainment will be at Fort DeSoto Park. For information on registering and volunteering, call (813) 874-7223.
ARMSTRONG FANS: Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong has fans all over the world.
For those of us lucky enough to be enjoying Outdoor Life Network's thrilling daily live coverage of this year's tour, we only have to check Armstrong's Web site minutes after broadcasts.
Armstrong's web site "Guestbook" received international postings every few minutes last week.
USPS SUPPORT: Bicyclist and US Postal Service employee Patricia Coyle of St. Petersburg showed friends last week a USPS employees bulletin that offered a special kids section for leTour.
The bulletin has a coloring section called, "Where In France Is Lance?" It offers a geography lesson while children color in Armstrong's route on a map of France.
Some adults may not have been familiar with the other coloring section, "What do those different color jerseys mean?" Jerseys were to be colored green (sprinting competition), white (best young rider), white and red polka dots (climbing leader) and yellow (overall race leader), helping explain cycling in a fun way.
Many postal employees are aware of international cycling and often know the exact general classification standings in leTour, delighting customers by updating them as people await stamps and envelopes at the window.
The Spruce Street post office, near Tampa International Airport, has a bright yellow mailbox in the middle of the lobby that holds entries to win an autographed flag and USPS jersey, which was brought here during the tour send-off celebration week.
-- If you have a question or comment, contact Jessica Fish at 698-1912.
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