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Posted: April 22, 2009  : Add to Mixx!

Triathlon: St. Anthony’s Triathlon Welcomes World's Top Triathletes

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 16, 2009) -- Now entering its 26th 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 45 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 26.

"In the last 26 years, St. Anthony's Triathlon has seen tremendous growth," said St. Anthony’s Hospital President, William 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 75 years."

Some of the athletes who will headline the 2009 St. Anthony's Triathlon in the men's and women's professional field are 2008 Triathlete Magazine Short-course Athlete of the Year (nondrafting) and former St. Anthony's Triathlon Champion, Greg Bennett; 2007 and 2008 St. Anthony'’s Triathlon Champion and U.S. Olympian, Matt Reed; 2007 Ironman 70.3 World Champion, Andy Potts; 2008 Ironman 70.3 World Champion, Terenzo Bozzone; 2008 U.S. Olympian and past St. Anthony's ITU World Cup Champion, Laura Bennett; 2008 Ironman 70.3 World Champion, Joanna Zeiger; 2005 and 2006 St. Anthony's Triathlon Champion, Becky Lavelle; and 2007 Ford Ironman 70.3 World Champion, Mirinda Carfrae.

This year, St. Anthony's Triathlon is proud to welcome back Sweetbay Supermarket as the presenting sponsor of St. Anthony's Triathlon. Since assuming the title sponsorship last year, Sweetbay Supermarket has committed to continuing St. Anthony's steeped tradition and further elevates the race's reputation as a world-class event.

"At Sweetbay, it is our philosophy to enhance the quality of life of the communities we live in and do business. We are proud to support local organizations that contribute to the wellbeing of our communities and St. Anthony's is the perfect partner," said Shelley Broader, president and CEO at Sweetbay Supermarket. "We are excited to be a part of such a long standing tradition and look forward to our continued partnership with St. Anthony's."

The weekend of events, which features one of triathlon's largest Sports & Fitness Expos, kicks off Friday, April 24, from noon to 7 p.m., in Straub Park with Athlete Check-in. Athlete Check-in and the Sports & Fitness Expo continue Saturday in Vinoy Park from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The weekend competition begins Saturday, April 25 at 7:30 a.m. at North Shore Pool when more than 900 participants compete in the Meek & Mighty Triathlon, 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).

The events wrap up Sunday, April 26 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 consisting of nearly 60 triathletes carries a $60,000-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. All finishers receive custom St. Anthony's Triathlon medals and awards go to the top 10 in each race division.

For more information about St. Anthony's Triathlon, visit SATriathlon.com.


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