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They're biking to raise awareness of eye disease

Perhaps they're nervous, but maybe they're just excited.

The four-man team of Dr. Bob Ebert, Dr. Jim DeLuca, Bo Webster (all of Hernando) and Brian Wylder of St. Petersburg, will bike across the country as Team Macular Regeneration in Race Across America.

"I'm absolutely terrified," Ebert said with a laugh. "But this is really just a American Tour de France — actually longer than the Tour de France. … Though we're Florida flatlanders with this training, but this race goes 150 to 200 feet above sea level, so we're training hard (in the hills) of San Antonio and Zephyrhills to help us out there."

The team will start in Oceanside, Calif., at the Oceanside Pier on June 11 and finish in Annapolis, Md., at the City Dock between June 17-20.

The route is more than 3,000 miles, touches 14 states and climbs more than 100,000 feet. Teams typically cross the country in six to nine days, averaging 350 to 500 miles per day.

Teams have a relay format and race 24 hours a day.

"Bo is our crazy triathlon guy who's been doing it for a while," Ebert said. "He somehow talked the rest of into it."

The team, whose ages range from 45-62, will be raising money for awareness of macular degeneration, which is when light-sensing cells of the central region of the retina, the macula, malfunction and eventually die, with gradual decline and loss of central vision, while peripheral vision is retained. Regeneration is the attempt to harvest omnipotent cells hiding in various sites in the body and inject them into diseased macular sites.

"I see a lot patients that have macular degeneration," Ebert said. "There is some exciting research going on out there and we're trying to direct money to that effort and research."

The team is accepting donations through the Web site www.eyesight.org/Race_Across_America/race_across_america.html. To make a donation, click the Donate Now

button.

For more information on macular degeneration, visit the Web site www.macular-degeneration.org.

Baseball: The Hudson Regional Library, at 8012 Library Road, is hosting the Fabulous World Series Feats Program at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The program features local baseball historian Robert Schaefer, who will talk about highlights from the World Series, which began in 1884.

Included will be stories and facts from the first World Series and the 1887 World Series when the St. Louis Browns faced the Detroit Wolverines and played a 15-game series in 11 cities.

Also covered will be the 1919 Black Sox Scandal when the Chicago White Sox "threw" the series; Willie Mays' catch in 1954; and an injured Kirk Gibson's pinch-hit home run in 1988. The event will use contemporary photos and illustrations. Registration is requested.

For more information, call (727) 861-3040.

Triathlon training: The Wrecking Crew, an informal group that meets to help fellow members train for triathlons and as a way to socialize, is looking for new members.

The group meets at various times and locations throughout the Tampa Bay area.

For more information, go to www.tbwc.wordpress.com.

Table tennis: The Land O'Lakes Table Tennis Club meets from 3 to 6 p.m. every Wednesday and from 6 to 9 p.m. every Friday at the Land O'Lakes Community Center, 5401 Land O'Lakes Blvd.

The club currently has 60 members is open to ages 16 and older and all skill levels

For more information about joining, call Don Goff at (813) 929-8055 or e-mail loltabletennis@gmail.com.

Submit info, upcoming events, scores and results to mcamunas@sptimes.com or call (352) 544-9480.

They're biking to raise awareness of eye disease 04/14/08 [Last modified: Monday, April 14, 2008 5:53pm]
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