ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., April 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Two first-time winners were crowned champions of the 30th Anniversary St. Anthony's Triathlon on Sunday. Jan Frodeno and Alicia Kaye crossed the finish line on their way to topping one of the largest and best pro fields in the race's history.
Frodeno, 32, is no stranger to winning, having come in sixth place in the 2012 London Olympics and winning a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. "I was nervous about coming here, especially when it came to the run because that's not my strong card," Frodeno of Germany said. "The other guys kept the pressure on."
Keeping Frodeno on his toes was Ivan Vasiliev of Russia, who came in second place, and Hunter Kemper of Colorado Springs, Colo., who placed third.
Kaye, 30, said that she felt strong throughout the day, but the women also kept the pressure on and she never had a huge lead. "The gap did not change much throughout the race," Kaye of Clermont, Fla., said. "I can't describe how it feels; it's so emotional to win this race."
Following Kaye were Nicky Samuels of New Zealand in second and Emma Moffatt of Australia in third, who was running her first St. Anthony's Triathlon and her first 5150.
Also participating in his first Olympic-distance triathlon was former Pittsburgh Steelers player and spring 2011 Dancing With The Stars champion Hines Ward.
"I'm really tired, but all in all, it felt good," Ward said after he crossed the finish line.
With the race being less than two weeks after the bombings in Boston, those events were not far from the athletes mind.
"We're all part of an endurance family," said Kemper. "Events like Boston shouldn't stop anyone from going out and living their dream. We're here today as a celebration of sport and lifestyle." Kaye raced with the words, "Boston Strong" marked on her leg in honor of her mother-in-law who has completed 25 Boston Marathons.
A windy morning resulted in the swim course being altered for amateur athletes to ensure the safety of swimmers.
"I thought the water would be a lot calmer," said Samuels, one of the pros who swam the full course. "I got a little confused out there, but I loved it because I love waves."
The professional field with more than 90 athletes featured Olympians and World Champions representing a variety of distances from the sport including Ironman and 70.3 racing, to the non-drafting Olympics distance and the ITU.
The first event of the 2013 global 5150 Triathlon Series, St. Anthony's is an international-distance race (1.5K swim, 40K bike and 10K run) offering athletes coveted points toward 5150 U.S. Championship qualification. It is the largest international distance triathlon series in the world and the first non-drafting international race series of its kind, offering a competitive platform for professional and age-group athletes.
Known for its scenic course along the downtown St. Petersburg waterfront, St. Anthony's Triathlon hosted a field of approximately 3,500 individuals and 125 relay teams from 44 states and 23 countries. The race weekend includes an extensive event expo and the Meek & Mighty Triathlon, a shorter-distance race for youth ages 7-14 and novice adults. Athletes compete for the professional prize purse in addition to $10,000 in prizes for the top male and female competitors in the Elite Amateur division.
Look for news about St. Anthony's Triathlon at www.SATriathlon.com and on Facebook at facebook.com/StAnthonysTriathlon.
About St. Anthony's Hospital
St. Anthony's Hospital produces the St. Anthony's Triathlon and is a 395-bed hospital founded in 1931 as a ministry of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany. The first faith-based hospital in Pinellas County, Fla., St. Anthony's celebrated its 80th year in 2011 and the hospital continues its rich history dedicated to improving the health of the community by providing high-quality, innovative and compassionate care.
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.
SOURCE St. Anthony's Triathlon