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Recent thunderstorms cause cancellation of first summer 5K

Summer rains are finally here. But while afternoon thunderstorms may be good for lawns, they are bad for runners.

Race promoters typically schedule summer series for the cooler, evening hours. If they are lucky, it rains at 4 p.m. and clears by 5.

But last week, the St. Pete Road Runners had to cancel the first of its St. Pete Beach summer 5K series when heavy rain, lightning and strong winds rolled in 15 minutes before the start of the race.

Race directors tried to postpone it until the storm passed, but the weather would not cooperate. So runners that signed up for the June 6 race can run the race July 11 or Aug. 8 for free.

The St. Pete Road Runners is one of the fastest-growing running clubs in the Tampa Bay area. There are 165 members, which is 65 more than in January. For information, go to

Spring into Summer

Saturday's fifth annual Spring into Summer 5K in Tampa drew 297 runners.

Josh Sanchez, an 18-year-old from Bradenton, finished first in 16 minutes, 40 seconds. Jacki Wachtel, a 28-year-old from New Port Richey, was the first woman across the finish in 17:40. Wachtel finished sixth overall.

The male master's champion was 41-year-old Jaime Larrosa of Tampa, who finished fifth overall in 17:29. Karen Collins, 44, of Tampa was the woman's master's champ in 20:19.

Lee Rietsma, 30, of Tampa finished second in 17:02. Terri Rejimbal, 39, of Tampa was the second woman across the line in 19:13. Pamela McCann, 42, of Treasure Island was ninth among women in 22:54.

The race attracted runners of all ages, including 8-year-old Mykel Akins of Ybor City, who finished in 29:20, and 82-year-old Emery Jewell of Tampa, who logged a time of 32:50.

Run for Shelter

A Friday race in Tampa, the 11th annual HCPA Run for Shelter, also had a strong turnout.

Rick Brown, a 31-year-old from Valrico, had the fastest time in 18:06. He was followed by John Hausenfluck, 36, of Tampa in 18:18.

In the women's ranks, Rejimbal won in 19:48. Leslie Beauchamp, 29, of St. Petersburg was third in 20:53, and Seminole's Brittany Cross, 17, finished 10th in 23:51.

Summer swimming

Countryside Aquatics took first in the Private Club League Championships at Clearwater's Long Center last weekend.

Among the first-place winners for Countryside were Summer Osborne (6-and-under girls), Kristen McGurk (8-and-under girls) and Tony Lombardo (15- to 20-year-olds).

Countryside Country Club Aquatics won with 2,796 points, and Tampa Yacht & Country Club, was second with 2,467. Bardmoor Aquatic Team took fourth with 1,324.50. Belleair Country Club Breakers was sixth with 837.50. Carlouel Yacht Club swim team took seventh with 693, and St. Petersburg Country Club was eighth with 306.

Ragnar Relay

Registration has begun for Ragnar Relay Florida, a 191-mile adventure-fest scheduled for Nov. 14-15 that will push teams of 12 from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, according to its Web site, Starting in Clearwater and finishing in Daytona Beach, the Ragnar is part of the nation's largest series of overnight relay races.

During the relay, each team member runs three legs, ranging from 3 to 8 miles and varying in difficulty. It gives runners of all levels of experience and expertise a chance to compete.

For information, visit the Web site or call toll-free 1-877-837-3529.

Do you have running, swimming, biking, triathlon or adventure racing news? Send it to Terry Tomalin at or call (727) 893-8808. You can also submit news online at

>>fast facts

Upcoming events


• Take the First Step, Summer Series No. 1, 5K, 6 p.m., Al Lopez Park, Tampa. Call Lynn Gray at (813) 453-7885 or (813) 398-2217.


• Gaither workout (for experienced bikers), 7:45 a.m., behind Gaither High. Call Richard Johnson at (813) 238-2464 or visit

• Marathon training, various group runs, 5:30 a.m., Downtown YMCA, Tampa. Contact Fred Vasconi at (813) 222-1334 or

• Rap River Run, 5K run/walk, 8 a.m., Sims Park, New Port Richey. Call (813) 835-4166 or visit

• Stanley Breakfast Ride, 7:45 a.m., Seffner Elementary, 109 Cactus Road, Seffner. Contact Terry Farrell at (813)684-3503 or, or visit

• Sunrise Beach Biathlon, 2-mile run, half-mile swim, 1-mile run, 7 a.m., Pass-a-Grille, St. Pete Beach. Call (813) 874-7223 or visit

• West Florida "Y" Runners Club, 6 a.m. at City Hall Plaza in Clearwater, 7 a.m. at John Chesnut Park in Palm Harbor. Call Michael Weiss at (727) 644-7702 or visit


• Father's Day 5K, 8 a.m., John Chesnut Park, Palm Harbor. Call American Running Co. at (727) 736-8232.

June 17

• Progressive Training Team, track workouts, 6:30 p.m., Coleman Elementary, Tampa. Contact Dror Vaknin at (813) 846-5021 or

June 20

• Hit the Trails XCounty Race, 7 p.m., Fishhawk Ranch, Lithia. Call (813) 681-6141 or visit

• Sunset at Pier 60, 5K, 7 p.m., Pier 60 at Clearwater Beach. Call Michael Weiss at (727) 644-7702.

June 25

Take the First Step, Summer Series No. 2, 5K, 6 p.m., Al Lopez Park, Tampa. Call Lynn Gray at (813) 453-7885 or (813) 398-2217.

Please send any information on upcoming events to

Recent thunderstorms cause cancellation of first summer 5K 06/10/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 10, 2008 4:31am]
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