New Exercise Equipment on Bayshore – Exercise Your Butt Off Here Next Year!

Bayshore Fitness Trail Welcome Sign

Yesterday, before heading to my parents house for Christmas and while it was still freezing outside, I decided to snap photos of the semi-new exercise equipment on Bayshore Boulevard. This exercise equipment has been open for about a month or two to the public and is part of the Bayshore Fitness Trail. This trail starts right across from Rome Avenue and is 1 mile long. I included the signs for each piece of equipment because they depict which muscles are worked out when you use them.

My Experience at Tough Mudder

This is a repost of a post I made last month. Unfortunately, the original site got hacked so I was forced to make a backup of all of our posts and delete the site and start over. I also decided to move the site to a new web hoster , so we’re starting fresh here. These posts are also missing  images that were originally published with them, so the blog isn’t as great as it use to be… 

My buddy and I went to Tough Mudder: Tampa Central Florida over the weekend.

It was my first Tough Mudder experience and it was a great experience. It was like a casual boot camp experience where we got rewarded at the end of the day with a beer and a snazzy headband that says “Tough Mudder” on it.

Below I will attempt to explain everything for you potential first-timers by explaining what you should do before the event, what you should bring, and by describing what the obstacles are like.

What to do before the event:

  • Train as hard as you can by making sure you can run/jog at least 4 miles straight. Also, working your upper-body and making sure you can lift yourself  and other people up over a wall — this will help tremendously.
  • Start drinking more water so you are hydrated for the run. I would call it a race but you don’t have to race anyone. In fact, you can skip obstacles and take as long as you want when going through the course.
  • Eat bananas the morning of, so you don’t cramp up. I don’t think I ate enough yesterday morning 😦

Bring the following:

  • A photo id
  • Your registration forms (there was a long line even before registration opened so you should get in line early).
  • A bag to keep a change of cloths and other items in.
  • $5 dollars to check-in your bag. Apparently they just started charging for this and all the proceeds go towards a charity.
  • A change of clean cloths which should include a pair of shoes because they will GET MUDDY!
  • A small (preferably water-proof) pack to carry snacks and anything else you  will need during the event. You can even bring a camel pack but it’s not recommended since it can get you stuck in some obstacles. The key is to stay light on your feet so you don’t have to bring anything at all!
  • A towel to dry off with, which come in handy after you wash off all that mud.
  • plastic bags for your muddy clothes!
  • A pair of old RUNNING shoes. You can either keep them (even though they will be extremely muddy at the end) or donate them to Tough Mudder. If you donate them, then they will go to a charity.
  • Motivation!

Course Breakdown

Some obstacles were fun and exhilarating and some obstacles were lame and painful. Here’s our breakdown of each obstacle, just click on the obstacle link below to skip to a description of it:

Starting Line

Unbeknownst to me, there were actually two starting lines: the first one was where the wave was gathered after they went through registration and baggage check-in.  We were all gathered in this area and then suddenly everyone started moving forward. I heard someone shout, “This is it!” but I couldn’t believe it because I knew there was always a debriefing before the run.  As we were talking towards the official starting point, it eventually all became clear: they made us jump over an 8 foot (or 8ish…not sure) wall before we could reach the debriefing part. I thought this obstacle was the hardest of them all, it was more of a “wake up and get pumped up for this run” obstacle. Don’t worry, you can always get help from your fellow teammates and other Tough Mudders when going over this wall but it helps to be able to climb over it by yourself! At the second/official starting point, we were debriefed about the run by a MCer. named Sean Corvelle. This guy was very motivating and he will definitely get you motivated for the run , OORAH!

Kiss of Mud

I’m listing out these obstacles as they are listed on the official Tough Mudder course map, but I don’t remember this one being the first obstacle. In fact, it seems like some of these obstacles were reordered differently. However, I will give a short description of it here. It was easy, it just required commando-style crawling underneath a barb wired cage. It’s not as bad as it looks! In fact, none of the obstacles were as bad as they look!

Jesus Walk

There were several Jesus Walks obstacles in between the main/bigger obstacles. These involved a lot of running, walking, and jogging through mud and water.

The first one brought me back to my childhood (when I use to play in the mud – don’t lie you did that too!) but it also gave me a taste of what Tough Mudder is mostly about, TEAM WORK! As we were walking through a ditch full of mud, about waist high, we had to navigate around holes in the muddy ditch (which we couldn’t see because of the mud). I fell down once and the other Tough Mudders pulled me out of the mud. In addition, there was a little socializing going on as we were walking through the mud. I would definately recommend this event (or perhaps all mud run events) for people who are looking to make new friends.

Sack Up

This one required us to lift up a heavy sandbag and carry it down a trail. I think the trail was about a half-mile. Everyone just walked through it, so you don’t have to run through it if you don’t want to. This one was one of the easiest in my opinion. Some people carried the sandbags on their backs while others carried them on their shoulders. I found alternating the carrying between each shoulder was less painful.

Mystery Obstacle #1

This one required us to crawl underneath a structure that was dark inside. One side had fog while the other didn’t have fog in it. This one wasn’t hard to go through.

The Phoenix

This one is most likely named after a bird called The Phoenix which appears in Greek mythology,  or after the X-Men character…I guess the idea about this one is that you will feel reborned after jumping over fire and then into a pool of water.  It didn’t make me feel reborned, just little irritated because I didn’t expect water to go up my nose.

Mud Mile

The mud mile was easy, but that’s because people weren’t actually going through the main part of the obstacle! We didn’t realize it at the time, because everyone was following everyone else. I can’t say it was challenging but we did get a little exhausted after all that running.

Hangin’ Tough

More like, “Hangin’ and Fallin’ into the water”, AMIRITE? No, actually I’m not and this would have been easier for me if I worked out my upper-body more. I only managed to make it to the third ring before falling into the water. This obstacle required us to swing from one hanging ring to another ring.

Electric Eel

This one required us to crawl through a cage with electrified wires that were hanging down. My friend was like “NOPE, no way, I’m not doing this.” while I was like “Psh, a little electricity has never hurt anybody.” I went through it and thought I didn’t get shocked because I was THAT GOOD, but it turns out the power for it was turned off. Still, there was a lot of space between each wire and it was easy to slide between and underneath them.

Warrior Carry

This one was about depending on your fellow teammates, which means you had to carry each other to the end of the obstacle. This wasnt that bad, just make sure you can lift each other up as if they were injured and need to be evacuated from a hostile situation.

Course Hazard

Along the way, there were mounds of sands we had to climb over and mud we had to walk through. I believe this one was mounds of sand that we had to climb over. 

Jesus Walk

More running through the mud.

Glory Blades

Remember when I said there were lame and painful obstacles? Well, this was one of them. It consisted of two walls, each angled about 90 degrees inwards towards the start of the obstacle. It was too painful to go over because of the way it was designed. It was like the very first wall we had to climb over, but slightly different because of the way the walls were angled. In fact , you had to climb over the back of the walls (so there was a lot of framing in front of you to navigate around.)

Funky Monkey

Brass Monkey, the Funky Monkey… sorry, I couldn’t resist.  This one was about going across monkey bars over water, however, some of the monkey bars rotated on you so it was hard to keep your grip on them. I almost made it across but ended up falling into the water.

Cage Crawl

Ahhh, this one was like floating down a lazy river and yes, it was that easy. All you have to do is slide down on your stomach, and rotate yourself on your back and propel yourself forward to the end (which means you will go backwards). You can propel yourself forward by grabbing on to the chain length fencing above you. I have to say the water was cleaner than what the pictures of this obstacle suggested.

Artic Enema

Ahhhh, this one was the Pièce de résistance of this year’s Tough Mudder. It required everyone to jump into a pool of below-freezing waters and then dive underneath a barrier so you can get to the end of the pool. You couldn’t hop over the barrier because it had barbed wire above it. This one wasn’t as scary as it looked…actually it was as scary as it looked. Despite the numbness and shock that comes with it, I would recommend this one anyways. It will make you feel refreshed afterwards.

Please note, you should run as fast as you can after Artic Enema so your body warms up quickly! 

Course Hazard

There was a small dip in the trail after Artic Enema, which had lots of mud in it. It felt great to run through it because the muddy water was warm! 

Trench Warfare

This one was fun and interesting. We had to crawl through a makeshift tunnel that had very little visibility inside. I guess they dug trenches in the dirt and then put plywood over them. This was one also was easy to go through, but it was also one of the dirtiest because we had to crawl through sand.

Walk the Plank

So, this one was the one I was going to skip out of fear. I was pretty sure this one was going to kill me but thankfully that wasn’t the case. In retrospect, I should have skipped it. We had to climb up onto a structure that was about 20 feet high in the air and then walk onto a plank. We then had to jump off the plank into a pool of water as if a bunch of mutineers forced us off our ship.  I think it’s funny how this concept was invented as a form of punishment and now people pay to go do it for fun. Again, you should be a good swimmer when going through this one and know how to dive properly (feet first that is!).

Course Hazard

This is when my legs started to cramp up badly which almost caused me to give up. I kept pushing myself to go further (and it was worth it!) when my legs were killing me. I can’t remember the last time my legs cramped up that bad.

Mystery Obstacle #2

This one was another great obstacle. We had to hop into a pool of mud and then lift ourselves up into large drain pipes. However, there was a hose in each of the drain pipes that shot a blast of water into your face as you crawled through it. The best approach for this one is to hop into the tube quickly and grab the rope that is inside it, so you can use the rope to propel yourself upwards towards the exit of the pipe. I found that flipping over onto my back and crawling out backwards was the easiest thing to do. There was a makeshift slip-in-slide at the end that everyone slide down which was fun to do.

Underwater Tunnels

This one required a lot of swimming. We had to swim under 3 sets of barrels that were lined up horizontally. The hardest part was swimming towards the shore while wearing shoes.

Berlin Walls

Remember when I said you need to work out your upper body for Tough Mudder? Well this is one of those obstacles that requires a lot of upper body strength. The falling down part from it wasn’t that difficult to do.

Everest

The Berlin Walls obstacle was the last obstacle that was away from the base. Once we ran out of the woods, we were in a field which led us to the base. This is where all the concession stands, tents for changing cloths, gift shop, and the start/finish lines were. At the base, there were two obstacles: Everest and Electroshock Therapy.

Everest is an obstacle that is just a quarter pipe. The goal was to run up it and then grab onto to the ledge of it, but most people got help from others by getting pulled up onto the ledge.

Electroshock Therapy

This one was like the Electric Eel obstacle except for you get to stand and run through it. Also, the power was actually on for it so I got shocked a few times while going through it. This one had the most spectators watching it (maybe because of the comedic effect) and announcers commenting on it. Don’t worry, the jolts of electricity weren’t painful at all, but they will give you a funny sensation, like when you hit your funny bone.

Finish Line

Beer, Glorious Beer!

Finally, after all that running, going through obstacles, and wading through mud, we made it to the finish line and got our Tough Mudder headbands and beer! I have to admit I didn’t think getting any of those items would feel worthwhile but now I feel like they were hard earned.

What about you?

Are you a Tough Mudder or do you have any questions about the event? If so, please feel free to share or ask in the comments section below!

Foot Patrol

Although football season has now officially arrived in the bay area, the appearance of fall items in the grocery (hello, Octoberfest ale!… in September!) has the TampaSportsFitness offices considering a change in the weather and the oncoming rush of outdoor events. And since both the paint run and the pixie dust run just finished, we feel a little safer about going outside.

Tough Mudder (where volunteers can run for $20 after working!) and the Zombie 5k will both be returning to the bay area later this year, and their reappearance enforces the notion that 5k races of different flavors are becoming (wait for it…) a trend. Articles on Tough Mudder have already appeared in Men’s Journal and GQ. The Zombie 5k has been featured as a fall favorite event on the Travel Channel. And in the bay area, clubs have formed to prepare/push each other to finish the runs.

One thing that hasn’t been addressed very well? Footwear.

Consider: most running shoes are designed to handle long runs on paved surfaces, such as roads and sidewalks. But the obstacle course runs typically take place in fields, and cleat shoes aren’t considered wise since they would not allow for the best performance once the person leaves the ground. Plus, anyone crawling in the trenches won’t appreciate being kicked by a football sneaker. Tough Mudder, for example, recommends any old shoe that can be donated after. Based on that criteria, one could therefore attempt the course in platform heels (please don’t).

TampaSportsFitness endorses any kind of activity, be it gimmicky or classic, but takes a substance over style approach to the type of shoes. To be sure, running shoes and cross-trainers are generally acknowledged as the go-to shoes for most physical activities, with some exceptions like yoga and diving. But those shoes aren’t always the correct choice. The right footwear for the right event has always been an ongoing issue in the TampaSportsFitness office, especially when it comes to more off-beat activities than outrunning zombies and enduring an obstacle course.

A pair of parkour shoes runs (HA!) for about $49.99. A decent pair of high-end soccer cleats online can be more than $200. And triathlon shoes can be about $100. The problems with all these specialized foot requirements, of course, are money and space; specialized shoes are hard to find cheap, and the more shoes you have the bigger the closest space needed (or garage, in the case of certain sport bloggers).

For example, while engaging in acrobalance a few years ago, TampaSportsFitness discovered that ninja tabi boots (which can be purchased at Wolfpack Martial Arts Supplies on Busch Boulevard by Chamberlain High School) were fantastic in terms of grip and support for acrobatic activities, which included standing on shoulders and running up walls. Likewise, Feiyue shoes were ideal for practicing martial arts on carpet and gymnasium floors, although tile floors proved problematic. And fencing, which favors shoes with flat soles to allow for the quick weight transfers, could be ideally served with wrestling shoes, which are flat and provide superior ankle support.

So what kind of shoe works best for your activity? And is it something odd, like bowling shoes for rock climbing?

Youth in Sports: Reason for Hope

August is almost upon us, and as a friend pointed out to us this week, football is just around the corner. Football in the bay area means the Bucs and the Bulls, but more importantly, it means the return of Friday night lights on high school fields.

Which is why, in a slight change of pace, TampaSportsFitness is recommending a news series that deals with the challenges of youth sports programs.

In an age when some parents pay thousands of dollars for special coaches to help their children excel on the field, the image of youth sports as the last bastion of athletic purity, the one place where players and fans can enjoy themselves, is being challenged. With the hype and glory of professional athletics only a Tweet, Facebook page, or YouTube video away at all times, the changing culture of youth sports has produced as many new concerns as it has taken advantageous steps forward.

Thankfully, the writers at the Tampa Bay Times have noticed this, too, and they’ve done something about it.

The series, titled Varsity Blues, has proven to be one of the most interesting reads about youth sports produced in the bay area. A team of writers spoke with numerous coaches and sports figures, both locally and nationally, and produced a series that highlights the numerous pitfalls and booby traps of youth sports while offering guidance and sign posts of hope along the way.

The series proves timely, as fall school sessions are drawing closer and bringing football back to everyone’s attention. The series also has personal heft on the TampaSportsFitness team, where some of the memebers have been wrestling with this subject since being upgraded to parents.

Some of the subjects are surprising. One problem the series has highlighted is the concern from coaches and parents that the sheer number of athletic programs now available (year-round ball clubs, multiple leagues, travel teams) makes it harder for kids to learn the values of hard work and perseverance. If a child fails to crack the starting lineup, they now have more opportunities to leave one club for another, potentially dissuading the kid from working harder for more playing time. The writers also highlight other areas of concern, like the surprising lack of available funds for many local prep sports programs, overtaxing a child’s still-developing body with year-round play, and the rise in diva behavior from players and parents. The writers do all this, however, while stressing the notion that the message can and should still be “let ‘em play,” even when that seems impossible.

The Parents and Diva sections both show how easy it is for both players and parents to be seduced by even the slimmest possibility of a full-ride college scholarship and the potential riches of a professional career. The writers also discuss the surrounding culture that celebrates the hype and tends to view young athletic prospects the same way Henry VIII would have appraised a potential new bride.

There have been exposes aplenty on the disturbing results of too much professional emphasis being placed on youth sports. H.G. Bissinger’s Friday Night Lights is the gold standard here, although TampaSportsFitness also recommends Robert Andrew Powell’s We Own This Game for its look at Pee Wee leagues in Miami. But the Tampa Bay Times series is an excellent read for anyone who has a child involved in sports because the writers do more than pay lip service to the familiar problems of youth sports, like parents confusing volunteering on their child’s Little League team with being the agent for their child’s athletic career.

Proof that there’s still hope, however, can be seen in the story about the young athlete/parent relationship of J.D. Edwards, a Pasco football player, and his father John Alexander, a former collegiate basketball player.

Leave the Bags

no_fanny_packs_sticker

This one got announced a few weeks ago, but it piqued our interest. The NFL has implemented a new policy regarding bringing bags into football stadiums.

The NFL Committee on Stadium Security said to a provide a “safer environment” and to “expedite fan entry,” NFL teams will implement a policy that will limit the size and types of bags that can be brought into stadiums.

Additional banned items include coolers, fanny packs, cinch bags and camera bags. Items that will still be allowed are small clutch purses, bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12″; and gallon freezer bags. The original story is here, along with a list of things not allowed at Bucs games.

What has us interested is if other athletic facilities/sports organizers will follow the NFL’s lead on this. The story stated the NFL made this decision in part due to the Boston Marathon bombings earlier this year, which is only understandable; NFL games can draw huge crowds in their host cities even when the teams aren’t winning, which could prove to be a tempting target for the next idiot. So what does it mean for the other local sporting events like, say, the Clearwater Iron Man competition or the Gasparilla Distance Classic? Right now the reports indicate the bag rules only apply to NFL games, but if the rule change proves effective, will that rule apply to other events hosted at the stadiums?

Senior games

extreme_senior_citizen

The 33rd Annual Tampa Bay Senior Games will be held Oct. 7-18. Online registration begins on July 15. Beginning on Aug. 5, you can also pay by check or money order. Simply print, fill in the forms and register by mail. The Games are open to adults age 50 and over as of Dec. 31, 2013. Registration is open until Sept. 23

The Tampa Bay Senior Games feature 37 events during a two-week competition. Participants competing in the following events also have the opportunity to qualify and advance to the State competitions: basketball free shooting, billiards, bowling, golf, pickleball, power lifting, swimming, track and field events, table tennis and tennis.

Entry fee is $20 and includes unlimited participation in most of the games, one ticket to the awards luncheon, opening ceremony breakfast, and a t-shirt. The following events have an additional cost: golf (extra $25), power lifting (extra $5), 5K run (extra $15), and pickleball (is an extra $5 per event). The cost for additional Awards Banquet tickets for non-participants is $10 each.

Last year, the Tampa Bay Senior Games hosted 655 competitors, and more than 400 participated during opening day. The oldest contestant was 97 years young and the youngest was 50.

The Tampa Bay Senior Games are hosted by the Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department, Hillsborough County Family and Aging Services, City of Tampa Recreation Department, and Temple Terrace Leisure Services.

Online registration, rules, schedule, locations and more are available at http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/seniorgames, or call 813-635-3519 for more information.

Why is this here, you ask? Simple: fitness and activity know no age limit. Check out that 77-year-old golfer in the ESPN Bodies issue if you don’t believe us.

 

Red Bull Wake Open 2013

Red Bull Wake Open Photos!

Didn’t think we’d forget, did you?

As promised, here are the photos from the 2013 Red Bull Wake Open. A big thank you  to Mr. Jack Heilig for granting us access to the event. The photos can be found here.

We apologize for the wait, but we had good reason: we were editing video and setting up our new YouTube station! TampaSportsFitness is really excited about this, because it means we can now post video on every event we attend here in the bay area. Click here, here, here, and here to see what happened at the Open.

Any thoughts? Also, check out our previous posts about this event: 

Surf’s Up; Red Bull’s Back in Town

Wakeboard Your Way to the Tampa Convention Center!

Wheelchair Games are coming

2012-Paralympics-Quad Rugby

Well, now that we’ve finished watching the Red Bull Wake competitors fly through the air and (occasionally) crash into the water, TampaSportsFitness wants to highlight another unique sporting event coming to town.

Starting July 13, the National Veterans Wheelchair Games will be taking place in Downtown Tampa.

A multi-event sports and rehabilitation program for military service Veterans who use wheelchairs for sports competition due to spinal cord injuries, amputations or other neurological disorders, the National Veterans Wheelchair Games serves as the largest annual wheelchair sports event in the world. The Games will be attracting more than 500 athletes to the Downtown Tampa area, as well as additional off-site venue locations July 13- July 18.

Events at this year’s Games will include swimming, table tennis, weightlifting, archery, air guns, basketball, boccia, nineball, softball, quad rugby, bowling, handcycling, trapshooting, wheelchair slalom, power soccer, a motorized wheelchair rally, track and field. Exhibition events are also being planned. Athletes will compete in all events against others with similar athletic ability, competitive experience, or age.

And as a bonus, these competitions will be absolutely free for anyone wanting to watch. Yes, free.

There’s already been a fair amount of excitement building for this event (Tampa Bay Times did this story on the event), but TampaSportsFitness wanted to highlight this event for two reasons: it’s a free local event involving some of the most unique athletes in the world, and TampaSportsFitness is a huge fan of quad rugby. The Tampa area already has its own team, the Tampa Generals, that has been competing on an international level since 1989 and providing some fantastic entertainment for fans of the sport. Plus, Murderball was a great movie.

Anyone planning on going?

Archery? Wakeboarding? Must be Summertime!

JenniferLawrenceHungerGames

In its youth, the TampaSportsFitness staff took pride in participating in outdoor summer activities. Field days, camping trips, canoes sinking; all staples of outdoor life in the bay area. And now that summer has officially returned to the bay area, it brings a collection of sports with it.

We here at TampaSportsFitness like to bring you stories of out-of-the-norm sports and fitness activities. And what could be more out of the norm than shooting things with a thousand-year-old piece of technology or flying through the air on a wakeboard?

We’re talking about archery, that activity you did in P.E. class in middle school or maybe once or twice at summer camp, and it’s on the rise. According to this AP story, archery has been experiencing a dramatic uptick of popularity in the last few years. While the 2012 Olympics can claim some credit for that, popular culture has been so saturated with the weapon that it’s almost impossible not to see the things everywhere. And we don’t just mean Katniss Everdeen and Hawkeye here; archery has television shows like Game of Thrones and Arrow in a headlock.

There are several archery ranges and classical weapons instructors in the bay area, but for anyone looking for an excuse to shoot something other than the traditional round target, The Gasparilla Bowmen will be hosting a 3-D Archery Shoot at the Lake Park Archery Area on Sunday, June 23, at 8 a.m., 17302 N. Dale Mabry in Lutz. All ages are invited to participate at the low cost of $2 per vehicle up to eight people per car. The Bowmen will provide 3-D targets ranging from bears to turkeys. Participants are required to bring their own archery equipment.

For anyone unfamiliar with the concept, 3-D archery basically involves moving through a range, preferably in the woods, and shooting at targets made to look like animals. So for anyone looking to practice shooting a buck, the event promises to be fun. The TampaSportsFitness staff thinks it would be even better if 3-D archery were combined with a cross-country obstacle course like a biathlon, only without the skis since we don’t get snow in the bay area.

Speaking of outdoor activities, the Red Bull Wake Open will be making its way back to Tampa in a few weeks when some of the best wakeboarders in the world will showcase their talents July 5-6 at the Tampa Convention Center. According to the event’s website, 36 riders representing seven countries will compete in Boat, Big Air, and Park disciplines.

Just like last year, spectators can see the event live as viewing locations are available around the Channel including the Tampa Convention Center and Knights Point at Harbour Island. And also like last year, the event will also be televised live on July 6 at 4:00 p.m. on NBC.

So who’s in?

Triathlon For Kids Coming

While the staff of TampaSportsFitness continues to deal with the dual disappointments of the Lightning’s road record and the removal of wrestling as an Olympic sport, it was suggested by our editor that we go find something to write about that would cheer everyone up.  And boy, did we ever.

Now, TampaSportsFitness covers a great deal of running events.  We do this for a number of reasons: the bay area weather allows for almost year-round running events, the scenery is wonderful and it emphasizes the notion that running is good  for you while biking and swimming is good for you yet more challenging.  But TampaSportsFitness also likes to cover offbeat races, such as Tough Mudder and numerous zombie runs that have been making more and more of an appearance lately.  And this past week we received notice of an event that piqued our curiosity something fierce.

With that, TampaSportsFitness wants all of our readers to know about the inaugural Tampa Bay Kids Triathlon at (wait for it) Adventure Island on Saturday, March 9, at 7 a.m.

How cool is this?

The event, hosted on Adventure Island season-opening day prior to the park opening at 10 a.m., provides youth the opportunity to run, bike, and swim in and around Busch Gardens’ water park.

Focusing on children ages 7-10 (junior varsity division) and 11-15 (varsity division), entrants will receive an Under Armour participant T-shirt, a finisher’s medal, as well as the opportunity to purchase Adventure Island single day admission tickets at a discounted cost (up to six), to be able to enjoy the park after the triathlon.

The course for both divisions will be the same, although the varsity division has to loop through each area twice.  Starting in the park, participants will swim through the Rambling Bayou lazy river before transitioning to bikes and racing to the Busch Gardens parking lot down the road (using Greenwood Avenue to avoid the traffic on 40th Street).  After riding around the exterior of the lot, riders make their way back to the park for a run around the field behind Adventure Island and ending in the volleyball courts.

Registration fees are $35 per participant in advance and $40 on the day of the race.  The registration packet will be available for pickup on Friday, March 8, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the registration tent across the street from the event parking lot on Bougainvillea Avenue.  Participants are encouraged to pick up their packet and drop off their bikes on Friday to avoid the Saturday morning congestion (registration pickup on Saturday starts at 5:30 a.m.).  Overnight security will be provided.  After a review for participants at 6:45 a.m., the race will get underway at 7 a.m.

So what’s got TampaSportsFitness so excited?  In addition to being a child’s event that encourages physical and outdoor activity, it combines a triathlon with one of the bay area’s signature destinations during one of the best times to be outdoors (provided the weather cooperates, of course).  Anyone interested can contact Claire  Lessinger at 813-342-4075, or CLessinger@VisitTampaBay.com.

So how about it, dear readers?  Any takers for this event?