ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., April 8 Now entering its 27th year as one of the largest and most competitive Olympic-distance triathlons in the United States, St. Anthony's Triathlon is once again preparing to host some of the world's strongest and most elite professional athletes. More than 4,000 individuals and 150 relay teams from 48 states, 18 countries, and six U.S. territories are expected to compete. The race, sponsored and produced by St. Anthony's Hospital, takes place Sunday, April 25.
"In the last 27 years, St. Anthony's Triathlon has seen tremendous growth," said St. Anthony's Hospital President, William G. Ulbricht. "From its humble beginnings in 1984 with only 600 athletes, St. Anthony's Triathlon now has a reputation as one of the premier multisport events in the world. The race has become an integral part of our community, bringing in thousands of spectators, participants and volunteers for a weekend focused on fitness and fun. And like the Triathlon, St. Anthony's Hospital also has a reputation in the community for what we do best - providing quality, compassionate care for more than 79 years."
Some of the athletes who will headline the 2010 St. Anthony's Triathlon in the men's and women's professional fields are reigning Ironman World Champion, Craig Alexander; 2009 Ford Ironman World Championship runner-up, Mirinda Carfrae; and former St. Anthony's Triathlon Champions, Greg Bennett, Matt Reed, Laura Bennett, Sarah Haskins, and returning 2009 champion, Rebeccah Wassner.
This year, St. Anthony's Triathlon is proud to welcome Bank of America as supporting sponsor of St. Anthony's Meek & Mighty Triathlon. Since 1994, St. Anthony's Meek & Mighty Triathlon has been a part of St. Anthony's Triathlon weekend of events offering an exciting, competitive and interactive experience for the entire family. As an official sponsor of the Meek & Mighty Triathlon, Bank of America has committed to continuing St. Anthony's steeped tradition and further elevates the race's reputation as a world-class event.
The weekend of events, which features one of triathlon's largest Sports & Fitness Expos, kicks off Friday, April 23, from noon to 7 p.m., in Straub Park with Athlete Check-in. Athlete Check-in and the Sports & Fitness Expo continue Saturday in Straub Park, from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Competition begins Saturday, April 24, at 7:30 a.m., with the Meek & Mighty Triathlon, supported by Bank of America, at North Shore Pool. The Meek & Mighty Triathlon is a shorter-distance race for youths ages 7-10 (swim: 100 yards, bike: 3.6 miles, run: 0.5 miles), youths ages 11-14 and novice adults (swim: 200 yards, bike: 5.6 miles, run: 1 mile). Registration for the Meek & Mighty Triathlon is closed.
The events wrap up Sunday, April 25, with St. Anthony's Triathlon, beginning at 6:50 a.m., followed by a post-race party at 9:30 a.m., and an awards ceremony at 12:30 p.m. A professional category of more than 60 triathletes carries a $65,000-prize purse and more than $10,000 in prizes will be awarded to the top male and female competitors in the Elite Amateur division courtesy of TYR, Profile Design, Zipp, Oakley, Timex and Orbea. Awards go to the top 10 athletes in each division. Registration for the 2010 St. Anthony's Triathlon is full.
Area residents can be part of this world-class event by becoming a volunteer to assist with registration, distribute water to athletes, assist at the finish line, or serve in a number of other important roles. Volunteers are needed April 23-25 and receive a commemorative race T-shirt, access to the volunteer hospitality tent, and an opportunity to interact with world-class athletes. To volunteer, call (727) 953-9005 or register online at www.SATriathlon.com.
About St. Anthony's Hospital
St. Anthony's Hospital is a 395-bed hospital founded in 1931 as a ministry of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany and is the first and only faith-based hospital in Pinellas County. In 1997, St. Anthony's became part of BayCare Health System, a joint operating agreement between the Tampa Bay area's leading not-for-profit hospitals. St. Anthony's has a rich history dedicated to improving the health of the community by providing high-quality, innovative and compassionate care.
About BayCare Health System
BayCare Health System is the largest community-based health system in the region, providing expert medical care for a patient's lifetime. Composed of hospitals and numerous affiliated services, the system connects patients to a complete range of services throughout the Tampa Bay area. Together, BayCare organizations seek to advance the health of their patients and their communities.
Member hospitals are Mease Countryside, Mease Dunedin, Morton Plant, Morton Plant North Bay, St. Anthony's, St. Joseph's, St. Joseph's Children's, St. Joseph's Women's, St. Joseph's Hospital North and South Florida Baptist. On the Web: www.BayCare.org.
SOURCE St. Anthony's Hospital