Morton Plant Mease Triathlon Registration Opens, Event Expanded|
2007 Race Invites More Athletes, Includes Larger Prize Purse, Partnership with St. Anthony’s Triathlon
CLEARWATER, Fla., (February 19, 2007) -World Triathlon and Ironman champions were among the 500 competitors in the first ever Morton Plant Mease Triathlon in 2006. This year, a maximum of 800 individual athletes and relay teams of all abilities are invited to take part in the 2007 Morton Plant Mease Triathlon. Registration for the race opened at 9 a.m. EST on Monday, January 15.
The race sponsored by Morton Plant Mease Health Care and sanctioned by USA Triathlon kicks off at 7 a.m. on Sunday, July 15 at Sand Key Park, 1060 Gulf Blvd., Clearwater, Florida. The race features a 1/3-mile open water swim in the Gulf of Mexico, a 13-mile bike over the Sand Key, Belleair Causeway and Memorial Causeway Bridges and a 3.1 mile flat, fast run along Sand Key’s Gulf Blvd and finishing at Sand Key Park. The event will help raise funds for the Morton Plant Mease Foundation and the four hospitals of Morton Plant Mease Health Care, all community owned facilities dedicated to improving the health of the community.
“The first Morton Plant Mease Triathlon was a tremendous success for the hospitals and the community, and this year we’re hoping to continue on that success by making some exciting changes to the event,” said Bryan Stanley, co-chair of the Morton Plant Mease Foundation’s Skip Cline Young Leadership Society, presenters of the triathlon.
A $4,000 prize purse will be distributed to the top five elite male and female finishers. Last year’s prize purse was $3,000. Additionally this year, a $5,000 prize purse will be awarded to any Elite athlete who wins both the Morton Plant Mease Triathlon and the St. Anthony’s Triathlon held in St. Petersburg, Florida on Sunday, April 29. Morton Plant Mease Triathlon division winners also will be eligible for a guaranteed entry into the St. Anthony’s Triathlon in 2008.
The inaugural Morton Plant Mease Triathlon Elite winners were Heather Gollnick of Brandon, Florida and a winner of multiple Ironman competitions, and Viktor Zyemtsev from the Ukraine. One week after winning the Morton Plant Mease Triathlon, Zyemtsev went on to win the Ironman USA event held in Lake Placid, New York.
Custom plaques will be distributed to the top five finishers in the following categories: 14 years and younger; 15 – 19; 20 –25 and upward in five-year increments to 85 years, 85 and older; Clydesdale; Athena; Novice; Skip Cline member; and physically challenged. All race finishers will receive custom medals.
You may also participate in the race by becoming a volunteer. Volunteers are needed to assist with registration, distribute water to athletes and assist at the finish line. Volunteers are needed July 14 and 15, and can sign up by calling (727) 820-7790.
Nationally recognized for health care excellence, Morton Plant Mease Health Care is dedicated to providing community owned health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. Morton Plant Mease Health Care is comprised of the following hospitals – Morton Plant, Clearwater; Mease Dunedin, Dunedin; Mease Countryside, Safety Harbor and Morton Plant North Bay, New Port Richey.
Contact: Beth Hardy (727) 298-6199 Phone, (727) 419-4471 Pager or Amy Morrow (727) 461-8538 Phone, (727) 468-7586 Pager