The first cycling event in the new Gran Fondo National Championship Race Series will kick off March 17 in Dade City. A Gran Fondo is a cycling challenge that is a blend of competitive road racing and casual century rides. Eastern Pasco's rolling hills will provide an ideal setting for the event, which will include 30-, 60- and 100-mile journeys.
The course will start and end at Pasco-Hernando Community College's Dade City campus and will partially follow the race course that was part of Tampa's bid to host the Olympic Games. A portion of registration fees will be donated to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office Explorer Post #916 to fund recreation activities for area youngsters.
"Pasco County's byways have a rich history of serving as training sites for amateur and professional cyclists," county spokesman Eric Keaton said. "We are excited the Gran Fondo National Championship Racing Series has partnered with the county for the location of its first race of 2013."
Registration is open to riders of all ages and experience levels, and is available at bikereg.com/Net/17873 or in person on race day at Pasco-Hernando Community College from 5:30-7 a.m. Participants must register by Sunday to receive a free T-shirt. For information and pricing, visit gfncs.com.
RUNNING: The Founders' Day 5K race and 1 mile fun run/walk will take place at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Zephyrhills Train Depot. The price is $20 for early registration (before Thursday) and $25 on the day of the race. Proceeds will benefit the Zephyrhills High track and field program. Registration is available at foundersdayrace.com. For information, call (813) 601-6238.
SHOOTING: The Hernando Sportsman's Club is hosting a 4-H Benefit Trap Tournament on March 23 at the club's trap range, 16121 Commercial Way (U.S. 19), Brooksville.
All proceeds will benefit the youth of the Hernando Sportsman's 4-H Club. The trap tournament consists of four rounds of 25 shots each, for a total of 100 shots. Trophies will be awarded in youth, adult and senior categories. Cost is $40 per trap shooter, $35 if pre-registered by March 16.
Lunch is provided to all participants. Registration for shooters begins at 8 a.m. and shooting will start at 9 a.m. Shooters must bring their own shotgun, ammo and lawn chair. For information, call (352) 797-0409.
LACROSSE: The Wesley Chapel Athletic Association is holding open tryouts for its first national recruiting tournament select lacrosse team known as the Panthers. Lesley Graham, Saint Leo University's women's lacrosse coach, will lead this program, which has been developed as a vehicle for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors to be seen at major college recruiting tournaments held in the South as well as the Northeast.
To be eligible to try out, student athletes must graduate in 2014, 2015 or 2016. They must live within a 100-mile radius of Wesley Chapel District Park. Open tryouts will be held from 9 a.m. to noon April 7 and 14 at Wesley Chapel District Park.
If chosen for the Panther team, players must commit to attending all four national recruiting tournaments. For information or to receive the tryout registration form, contact LPanthers Lacrosse@gmail.com.
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