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2009 Press Releases
Registration begins for 4th Annual Morton Plant Mease Triathlon

CLEARWATER, Fla., (March 5, 2009)--Online registration is now open for the 4th Annual Morton Plant Mease Triathlon scheduled for July 12, 2009 in Clearwater, Florida. The course begins with a 1/3 mile open water swim in the Gulf of Mexico at Sand Key Park. From there, the 13 mile bike route crosses Sand Key Causeway, through Clearwater Beach and over the Memorial Causeway, then winds through downtown Clearwater and scenic Belleair and the Belleair Beach Causeway. Runners complete the race with a 3.1 mile run through Sand Key Park. “Florida’s topography doesn’t naturally facilitate much more than a fast and flat triathlon course, but we have a ride over both the Memorial Bridge Causeway and the Sand Key Causeway. They have about a 12 percent grade which makes it a more challenging race,” says Philip LaHaye, event director of both the Morton Plant Triathlon and the annual St. Anthony’s Triathlon. The registration fee is $70 per individual and $85 per relay team. Fees will increase an additional five dollars after July 5th. Entry fees are non-refundable. Online registration closes on July 8th and no registration will be offered on day of race. Registration capacity is limited to 1000 entries. A $4,000 purse will be distributed to the top five Elite/Open Division male and female finishers. Custom plaques will be awarded to the top five male and female in each division and top three teams in each relay division. All race finishers will receive a custom medal. Divisions are as follows: *Age Group (14 and under, then in five year increments to 85+) *Clydesdale: 39 and under/40 & over *Athena 39: and under/40 & over *Novice *Skip Cline Young Leadership Society member *Physically Challenged *Relay Teams (female, male, mixed). In addition, division winners will receive a guaranteed entry and a 50% discount registration fee for the St. Anthony’s Triathlon in St. Petersburg, in April 2010. In previous years, racers have competed in the Morton Plant Mease Triathlon as young as nine and as vibrant as 87 years old. “This race is quickly becoming known as a competitive sprint distance event and draws some very well known triathletes. It’s also a great opportunity for people new to triathlons, and a team building opportunity for friends, family and co-workers,” says LaHaye Due to inclement weather, last year’s race was canceled. Registrants were given the opportunity to transfer their entry fee to selected races or offered a discount for this year’s Morton Plant Mease Triathlon. The race is sponsored by the Morton Plant Mease Foundation’ Skip Cline Young Leadership Society, a group of young professionals who are the next generation of supporters and advisors of our local health care system. Members are age 45 and under and offer an active voice and philanthropic support of Morton Plant Mease Health Care. All proceeds from this event will benefit the four hospitals of Morton Plant Mease Health Care. Volunteer opportunities are available for registration, handing out water to racers along the course and assisting at the finish line. To learn more about volunteering for the Morton Plant Mease Triathlon, call Felicia Leonard at (727) 638-2853. 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. Established in 1977, Morton Plant Mease Foundation is a charitable organization providing philanthropic support to the hospitals of Morton Plant Mease Health Care to achieve medical excellence and provide the care of our community needs. This year, the foundation has committed $7 million to help fund health improvement programs and initiatives including The Morgan Heart Hospital, Dr. George Morris Earn As You Learn Program, and Turley Family Health Center