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2008 Press Releases
Morton Plant Mease Triathlon Winner, Ironman Champion, Mother of Three to Compete in Clearwater Race

Heather Gollnick Registered for Morton Plant Mease Triathlon Benefiting Hospitals

Race Volunteer Openings Available

CLEARWATER, Fla., (June 10, 2008) - Heather Gollnick, female elite winner of the inaugural 2006 Morton Plant Mease Triathlon and five-time Ironman champion, will compete in this year’s Morton Plant Mease race to be held on Sunday, July 13 in Clearwater. Gollnick is a mother of three who lives and trains in Lakewood Ranch, Florida. She will be joined in the race by other world-class athletes including three-time World Triathlon Champion and two-time Ironman Champion Spencer Smith.

“The field of athletes entering this year’s event is impressive. It’s a sign of the caliber of race we’re offering and the community support behind it,” said Bryan Stanley, co-chair of the Morton Plant Mease Foundation’s Skip Cline Young Leadership Society, presenters of the triathlon.

Proceeds from the triathlon benefit the Morton Plant Mease Foundation which provides philanthropic support to the four community owned hospitals of Morton Plant Mease Health Care. In addition to top world-class athletes, more than 800 individual participants and relay teams are invited to register and compete in the triathlon. The race is sanctioned by USA Triathlon.

The Morton Plant Mease Triathlon begins at 7 a.m. at Sand Key Park, 1060 Gulf Blvd., Clearwater, Florida and features:

  • 1/3-mile open water swim in the Gulf of Mexico
  • 13-mile bike over the Sand Key, Belleair Causeway and Memorial Causeway Bridges
  • 3.1 mile run finishing in Sand Key Park

Registration fees are as follows:

  • $70 for individual competitors through June 30; $75 July 1 to July 9
  • $80 for relay teams through June 30; $85 July 1 to July 9

A $4,000 prize purse will be divided and distributed to the top five elite male and female finishers. The 2007 Morton Plant Mease Triathlon elite winners were two Floridians – Marc Bonnet-Eymard of Winter Garden and Stephanie Liles of Tallahassee. It was Eymard’s first race competing as a professional triathlete. The oldest triathlete to compete last year was 86 and the youngest 13.

All race finishers will receive custom medals. Custom plaques are also given 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.

Become a Morton Plant Mease Triathlon volunteer

If you’re unable to compete in the Morton Plant Mease Triathlon, you can still be a part of the race excitement. “This is a large community event and volunteers help with just about every aspect of the race including marking athletes with triathlon registration numbers, manning water stations, helping out with race registration and greeting athletes as they cross the finish line,” said Stanley.

To learn more about becoming a Morton Plant Mease Triathlon volunteer, please call (727) 820-7790.

About Morton Plant Mease Health Care

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) 402-8113 Pager or Amy Morrow (727) 461-8538 Phone, (727) 402-5975 Pager