St. Anthony’s Tampa Triathlon In St. Petersburg Preview

April 28, 2012 6:00 AM

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St. Anthony’s Tampa Triathlon
Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg

701 Bayshore Dr., Northeast
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 825-1271

Date: Sunday, April 29
Hours: 6:50 a.m. wave start
Price: $160 individual/$225 relay/$250 charity/$50 meek and mighty

The St. Anthony’s Triathlon, an Olympic-distance, USA Triathlon-sanctioned race, attracted more than 4,000 participants in 2011. This year’s new swimming course and the elite amateur division will put this year’s race a step ahead of previous events. A qualifier for the 5150 U.S. Championship event, athletes will compete in a 1.5 km (0.9 mile) swim, 40 km (24.8 mile) bike race, and 10 km (6.2 mile) run.

There are more than 25,000 parking spaces in downtown St. Petersburg. On-street parking is also available for short-term needs. Disabled parking will be located in the VIP parking lot at 901 North Shore Drive (South Pool Lot).

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Sports and Fitness Expo
The Sports and Fitness Expo will feature dozens of vendors this year, vying to show off running shoes, sports drinks, nutrition bars, nutritional supplements, fitness clothing and high-tech gadgets. Come prepared – much of this gear comes with a hefty price tag. The Timex Ironman Race Trainer, for example, sells for about $150. This digital heart rate monitor has a 50-lap memory and can help runners determine target heart rates, calories burned and recovery time. If biking is your sport of choice, stop by the Outspokin Bicycles booth and check out the Cervelo P4. Its integrated design compensates for the frame, components, wheels, hydration and rider together, which significantly reduces drag and can trim minutes off of race time. Expect to pay at least $5,000 for this bike, depending on which features you want.

Related: Best Tennis Courts Clubs in Tampa

Swim Waves 2012
Athletes who competed in Swim Waves 2011 may remember that the normal course was moved away from the St. Petersburg Pier to avoid bad weather. So many participants liked the change that the St. Anthony’s Triathlon race officials have permanently moved the swim portion of the race to an area of Tampa Bay north of North Shore Pool in St. Petersburg. The swim course is 1.5 km, or almost one mile, long.

Meek and Mighty Triathlon
The Meek and Mighty Triathlon, a smaller course made for children and young adults, is every bit as challenging and exciting as the adult competition. Children are grouped into ages 7 to 10, 11 to 14 and 15 to 18. Children 7 to 10 years old will swim 100 yards, bike 3.6 miles and run half of a mile, while children 11 years old or older will swim 200 yards, bike 5.4 miles and run one mile. Adult volunteers will be on hand to make sure each child is competing in a safe environment. Register in advance.

Each participant will receive a commemorative T-shirt and a race bag with giveaways from the event’s sponsors. Individual finishers will receive a custom finisher’s medal. After the race is over, participants may enjoy a complimentary massage from the Florida Sports Massage Therapy Association, and an awards party featuring live music, delicious food from the Columbia Restaurant and prize drawings. Awards will be presented to the top 10 male and female finishers in the categories of professional, elite amateur, novice, clydesdale (men more than 200 pounds), athena (women more than 150 pounds), age group, Meek and Mighty, and physically challenged.

Where to Stay
The Pier Hotel
253 2nd Ave. North
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 822-7500

Price: $6 parking/from $82 with online special deals

The historic Pier Hotel is only a 10-minute walk away from the site of the triathlon. Built in 1921, the hotel charms with antique decor and furniture, but is 100-percent modern with cable television, refrigerators, microwaves and high-speed Internet access. It’s also just a short walk away from a variety of restaurants, shopping boutiques, art galleries and museums.

Dickens House Bed & Breakfast
335 8th Ave. Northeast
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 822-8622

Two blocks away from the triathlon, award-winning Dickens House features private in-room baths with whirlpool tubs, queen beds, in-room refrigerators, free high speed Wi-Fi and cable television. Multi-course gourmet breakfasts are served to guests by owner Ed Caldwell.

Where to Eat
A Taste for Wine
241 Central Ave.
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 895-1623

Pricing: $6-$10
Hours: Tues to Thurs – 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Fri to Sat – 2 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Sun – 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Mon – Closed

A Taste for Wine is a cozy, casual spot and one of St. Petersburg’s hidden gems. With a balcony overlooking the street, a specialty beer and wine list, live music and affordable prices, it’s one of the bay’s best and most romantic bars. Sophisticated drinks, small portions and a relaxed, tranquil atmosphere make A Taste for Wine a terrific way to wind down after the excitement of the triathlon.

Related: Best Wine Bars in Tampa

Joey Brooklyn’s Famous Pizza Kitchen
210 1st Ave. North
St. Petersburg, FL 34655
(727) 822-6757

Price: $7 to $15
Hours: Mon to Sun – 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.

Only a short walk away from the site of the triathlon, Joey’s has delicious offerings that are sure to satisfy. Pizza, pasta, sandwiches, salads, calzones and wings make this the perfect place to gorge after the race. Joey’s also offers free deliveries for orders of $10 or more.

Amanda Mole has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil and cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove. She believes that food provides more than just vital nutrients: it is an irreplaceable part of countless cultural and social activities. As a Tampa Bay resident for the past 21 years, she is well acquainted with the incredibly diverse range of restaurants, bars, and food festivals that the area has to offer. Her work can be found at

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