ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., April 23, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- World Champions, Olympians, and a well-rounded roster of professional athletes from across the world comprise the field for the 35th Annual St. Anthony's Triathlon that returns to St. Petersburg on Sunday, April 29. More than 3,000 athletes from 41 states, the District of Columbia, and eight countries participated in the 2017 events, and this year's total participant count is looking to be even greater.
Final preparations are underway for the athletic competition that is considered to be one of the sport's leading events in the U.S. From novice youth to age group amateurs to some of the best triathletes in the world, thousands of athletes of all ages and abilities will be in downtown St. Petersburg from April 27 – 29 to attend the Sports and Fitness Expo and compete in one of three events: the Meek & Mighty Triathlon, Sprint Triathlon and the Olympic distance race at St. Anthony's Triathlon.
The Olympic distance Triathlon and the Sprint Triathlon will be held Sunday, April 29, while the Meek & Mighty Triathlon will be Saturday, April 28. Approximately 40 professional stars of the sport will toe the starting line, including 2010, 2015, 2016 and 2017 St. Anthony's Triathlon winner Cameron Dye, who is hoping to break his own record and add a fifth win at this year's race. Returning pro competitor Lauren Goss is the defending champion and will battle Alicia Kaye, who won the St. Anthony's Triathlon in 2015 and was runner-up in the race in 2016.
In addition, Sarah Haskins will be vying for her seventh win at St. Anthony's. If Haskins wins in 2018, she will tie legendary professional triathlete Michellie Jones for the most wins of any professional triathlete at St. Anthony's. Jones currently holds the record for seven St. Anthony's champion titles. Haskins won the triathlon in 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016. Jones took the title in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2004.
The list of female professional triathletes also includes Kaitlin Donner, Ericka Hachmeister, Brittany Higgins, Sara McLarty, Maddy Pesch, Terry Casey and Kearci Smith.
In the men's field, other professional triathletes include Nicholas Chase, Jarrod Shoemaker, Jeremy Stagg, Rudy Von Berg, Matthew Alford, Jackson Laundry and Jason West.
Professionals will compete for a $56,000 prize purse. Since the event is a USAT Regional Championship, registered USAT athletes will be able to qualify at the St. Anthony's Triathlon for the 2018 USAT National Championships in Cleveland to be held Aug. 11-12, 2018. In order to qualify for the National Championships, competitors must finish in the top 33 percent or top five (whichever is greater) competitors per their respective age groups.
The 2018 St. Anthony's Triathlon weekend events are as follows:
Friday, April 27:
- Concert at Vinoy Park starting at 6 p.m. This year's concert will feature two acts: country artist and Florida-born triathlete Erin Cosgrove and The Petty Hearts, a Tom Petty Tribute Band.
Friday, April 27- Saturday, April 28:
- Sports and Fitness Expo, Straub Park, 500 Beach Drive
- Friday: Noon – 6 p.m.
- Saturday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Registration is available on site at the Expo.
Saturday, April 28:
- Meek & Mighty Triathlon, North Shore Pool, 901 North Shore Drive
Shorter distance race for youths ages 7-14 and novice adults, 7:30 a.m. start time.
Sunday, April 29:
- St. Anthony's Triathlon, North Shore & Vinoy Parks
Olympic distance race (1.5K swim, 40K bike and 10K run.)
- 6:50 a.m. start time.
- St. Anthony's Sprint Race, North Shore & Vinoy Parks (750-meter swim, 20K bike, 5K run)
- Approx. 8:45 a.m. start time.
More information about USAT Regional Championship guidelines and rules can be found at: https://www.teamusa.org/usa-triathlon/events/regional-championships
For more information about the 2018 races, athletes, health and fitness expo and surrounding activities, visit the St. Anthony's Triathlon's Facebook page: Facebook.com/StAnthonysTriathlon. Be a part of the conversation using the hashtag, #StAnthonysTri.
About St. Anthony's Hospital
St. Anthony's Hospital is a 393-bed hospital founded in 1931 as a ministry of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany and was the first faith-based hospital in Pinellas County. For more information on St. Anthony's, call (727) 953-6993.
About BayCare Health System
BayCare is a leading not-for-profit health care system that connects individuals and families to a wide range of services at 15 hospitals and hundreds of other convenient locations throughout the Tampa Bay and central Florida regions. Inpatient and outpatient services include acute care, primary care, imaging, laboratory, behavioral health, home care, and wellness. Our mission is to improve the health of all we serve through community-owned, health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care.
SOURCE St. Anthony's Triathlon