Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Cover story

Hurry and register for not-so-serious Life's a Beach Triathlon

SARASOTA

Kip Koelsch once ran, paddled and biked 210 miles across Florida in 32 hours and 42 minutes just for fun.

But the 47-year-old St. Petersburg man, a former member of the U.S. canoe/kayak marathon team, acknowledges that the average recreational athlete isn't necessarily up for such an extreme challenge.

"Something like the Coast to Coast race takes a lot of time and commitment," he said. "Even your typical Olympic-distance triathlon can be intimidating to a lot of people."

That's why Koelsch, a recovering adventure junkie, developed a fitness event that he says will get even a dedicated coach potato out of the house and into the sun.

"That is what the Life's a Beach Triathlon Series is all about," he said. "You don't have to have a $5,000 bike and 6-pack abs to compete."

Koelsch held the first Life's a Beach Triathlon last year in Sarasota and had people begging for more. "The response was overwhelming," he said. "People are looking for healthy ways to have fun."

Koelsch expects more than 700 participants to line up at the starting line on Lido Beach on Sept. 14.

"The high turnout shows that we've been successful in our goal of bringing down the intimidation factor most people feel when they look at doing a triathlon," he said. "We've broken down that barrier with short distances, a user-friendly swim, no need for fancy bikes, fun obstacles and a chillaxed beach attitude. This is truly a triathlon for the masses."

The Life's a Beach swim is 200 yards, and as he said, "almost anything goes." Contestants can use a boogie board, swim fins, mask and snorkel, water wings, whatever it takes to help them feel comfortable and enjoy the water.

The bicycle route is just 5 miles long and ideal for fat-tire beach cruisers. If you're really concerned about your time, hop on a mountain bike. But most racers are more worried about their appearance than performance — for many, fun costumes are a key part of the event.

The 2-mile beach run is also pretty laid back and includes some Life's a Beach Challenges, or obstacles, to break up the run in a fun way. Racers should save a little juice for the end — they've got to limbo underneath the finish line tape.

The top competitors will get suitable recognition. But Koelsch says, "Anyone who stumbles, fumbles, bobbles, hulas or crawls across the finish will get one of our cool Flip Flop Finisher's Medals to remember their accomplishment."

This race also pays tribute to those who don't try at all.

"We also have Top Slacker awards in each age group and overall," he said. "That's the person who enjoyed the race the longest, or that is, the person with the slowest time."

In addition to next week's event in Sarasota, there will be a Life's a Beach Triathlon in Daytona Beach on Oct. 5.

"We're also in discussions to bring Life's a Beach Triathlon to several more locations in 2014," Koelsch said. "Our plan is to have a true national event series by 2015."

Terry Tomalin can be reached at tomalin@tampabay.com.

If you go

Life's a Beach Triathlon

For information, go to lifesabeachtriathlon.com. Register for the Sept. 14 Sarasota event at active.com until midnight Saturday, Sept. 7. (There may be a limited number of race-day entries available, for a higher fee. Watch the Facebook page or website.)

Hurry and register for not-so-serious Life's a Beach Triathlon 09/05/13 [Last modified: Thursday, September 5, 2013 4:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Joss Whedon's ex-wife accuses him of cheating, being 'hypocrite preaching feminist ideals'

    Celebrities

    Joss Whedon made his name directing cult television shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and big-budget action movies, which often featured women in empowering roles. Many applauded him for being a champion of women, a feminist in an industry accused of misogyny and sexism.

    Joss Whedon at the screening of "Much Ado About Nothing" in 2014. Whedon's ex-wife Kai Cole alleged in an essay published by The Wrap on Sunday that Whedon had multiple affairs during their 16-year marriage. (Associated Press)
  2. Pasco school's parents, principal seek compromise on behavior plan

    Blogs

    Leaders of a Pasco County elementary school that has come under criticism for its new behavior plan have offered an alternative model that sticks to its goals while also better considering younger children who might not understand the original terminology.

    This is the original chart that upset parents with wording such as "anarchy" and "conform to peer pressure" without any context.
  3. Jon Gruden, Rex Ryan meet with Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston on 'Hard Knocks'

    Bucs

    One of the interesting guest stars on HBO's "Hard Knocks", which covers every minute of the Bucs' training camp and preseason, has been Jon Gruden. The legendary former Tampa Bay coach has popped up from time …

    In a teaser clip from episode 3 of "Hard Knocks", Jon Gruden and fellow former coach Rex Ryan meet with Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston to discuss his past and future in the NFL. [HBO/NFL FILMS]
  4. German police seize thousands of 'Trump' ecstasy tablets

    National

    BERLIN — German police say they have seized thousands of tablets of the party drug ecstasy in the shape of Donald Trump's head, a haul with an estimated street value of 39,000 euros ($45,900.)

    This undated  picture provided by Polizeiinspektion Osnabrueck police shows an ecstasy pill. German police say they have seized thousands of ecstasy pills in the shape of President Donald Trump's head, a haul  with an estimated street value of 39,000 euros ($45,900). Police in Osnabrueck, in northwestern Germany, say they found the drugs during a check Saturday evening on an Austrian-registered car on the A30 highway. [Police Osnabrueck via AP]
  5. Bucs bring back long snapper Andrew DePaola to compete

    Bucs

    Just 12 days before the NFL makes its final cuts, the Bucs have added another position battle, signing back long snapper Andrew DePaola to compete with veteran Garrison Sanborn.

    Andrew DePaola is making an impressive recovery from the torn ACL he suffered in last year's season finale against Carolina in January.  [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]