More than 1,000 Triathletes Compete
By Bev Dolezal
Early morning swimmers take to the water off of Sand Key with the condos as their backdrop.
Tough rounding as swimmers try to round the first mark with an inside advantage in the Men's 50+ age group.
A beautiful sandy beach and pristine Gulf of Mexico water just off of Sand Key provided the venue for the 5th Morton Plant Mease triathlon on Sunday, June 27, for nearly one thousand athletes. The 1/3-mile open water swim was followed by a 13-mile bike ride and culminated with a 3.1 mile run ending in Sand Key Park.
The triathlon is a fundraiser for the hospitals of Morton Plant Mease Health Care, with this year's funds going towards special pediatric vein viewers. This equipment helps nurses and doctors visualize pediatric veins, and thus reduce pain and stress for both children and their parents.
The Skip Cline leadership society of the Morton Plant presented the triathlon with Bryan Stanley as the race committee chairperson. Stanley remarked, "we are fortunate to be able to hold our triathlon in such a beautiful location as Clearwater". Kerry Sullivan of St. Petersburg turned in the fasted time for the male athletes with a time of 1.01.43. Elise Schillmoller of Miami, who clocked in at 1.12.17, won the women's division. In the junior division, Shane Deeley, 17, of Clearwater, finished with a very impressive time of 1.04.10. The ages of the athletes ranged from 11 years to 85.
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