Morton Plant Mease Triathlon Expecting Top Athletes and Future Champions to Compete|
CLEARWATER, Fla. (June 21, 2011) - Approximately 1,000 athletes are expected to compete in this year's Morton Plant Mease Triathlon on June 26, 2011 at Sand Key Park in Clearwater, FL. The 2011 USAT Florida Regional Junior Championship is held within the Morton Plant Mease Triathlon and junior athletes, ages 15 to 19, will compete for the title and for bragging rights as the fastest junior in the region. This race also gives the USA Triathlon organization a chance to identify potential future Olympians.
The junior athletes will have the opportunity this year to compete side by side and start in the first wave with elite competitors including Nina Kraft, who won the 2009 Morton Plant Mease Triathlon. Kraft is also the 2009 Gasparilla Marathon female winner. Kraft, originally from Germany, now lives and trains in Clermont, Fla.
The Morton Plant Mease Triathlon presented by the Skip Cline Society starts at 6:50 a.m. off Sand Key Park, 1060 Gulf Blvd., with a 1/3 mile open swim in the Gulf of Mexico. From there, racers will bike 13 miles over the Sand Key Bridge, through Clearwater Beach, over the Memorial Causeway and through Clearwater by way of Druid Road and Indian Rocks Road, then over the Bellear Beach Causeway and north on Gulf Boulevard. The final leg consists of a 3.1-mile run in Sand Key Park.
A $4,000 purse will be distributed to the top five Elite/Open Division male and female finishers.
Traffic will be impacted during the morning of the Morton Plant Mease Triathlon. The following locations, bridges and streets will see intermittent traffic delays from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.:
Sand Key Park City of Clearwater City of Belleair
- Sand Key Park - Palm Ave. - West Bay Dr.
- Sand Key Bridge - Turner Street - Belleair Causeway Bridge
- Bayway Blvd. - Orange Ave.
- Hamden Dr. - Druid Rd. W.
- Coronado Dr. - Druid Rd. S.
- Memorial Causeway Bridge - Belleview Blvd.
- Gulf Blvd. - Indian Rocks Rd.
Race volunteers are needed to assist with athlete check in, water distribution along the course and assisting at the finish line.
About Skip Cline Society
The Skip Cline Society is a dynamic group of young donors and professionals who share a common interest in advancing the future of health care and Morton Plant Mease's pediatric services. Since 1995, the group has organized signature events such as the Morton Plant Mease Triathlon, Lobster Bake "Claws for a Cause," and the Seawall Rodeo, a Family Friendly Fishing Tournament. Last year, the Skip Cline Society provided a Baby Simulator (BabySIM) for nurses and physicians in pediatric services at Mease Countryside Hospital. Proceeds from this year's event will help benefit pediatric education and community health events at St. Joseph's Children's Specialty Center at Mease Countryside Hospital and provide a NICU Baby Simulator.
About Morton Plant Mease
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.
About BayCare Health System
BayCare Health System is a leading community-based health system in the Tampa Bay area. Composed of a network of 10 not-for-profit hospitals, outpatient facilities and services such as imaging, lab, behavioral health and home health care, BayCare provides expert medical care throughout a patient's lifetime. With more than 200 access points conveniently located throughout Tampa Bay, BayCare connects patients to a complete range of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services for any health care need.
BayCare's family of hospitals are: Mease Countryside, Mease Dunedin, Morton Plant, Morton Plant North Bay, St. Anthony's, St. Joseph's, St. Joseph's Children's, St. Joseph's Hospital-North, St. Joseph's Women's, and South Florida Baptist. For more information, visit BayCare on the Web at www.BayCare.org.
Beth Hardy, (727) 298-6199 Phone, (727) 402-8113 Pager
Denise Moore, (727) 461-8538 Phone, (727) 402-5975 Pager