Sunday, May 27, 2018
Outdoors

Doctor ties friend for most St. Anthony's Triathlons

ST. PETERSBURG — Dr. Michael Reilly, who works at St. Anthony's Hospital in St. Petersburg, was feeling a little under the weather Sunday, but he still lined up for his 32nd St. Anthony's Triathlon because he knew a record was at stake.

Reilly, a multisport enthusiast since the 1970s, knew his longtime friend Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Jack Helinger had a sore knee.

"Jack holds the record for the most St. Anthony's Triathlons," said Reilly, 65. "But I knew he might be sitting this one out, so I saw this as my chance to catch up."

By finishing Sunday, Reilly tied Helinger for the most St. Anthony's Triathlons at 32. This year's event was the 33rd annual race.

Reilly, who has hosted visiting pro triathletes, worked the medical tent at Saturday's Meek and Mighty triathlon. He has six sons ranging in age from 6 to 15, all active triathletes. Five of Reilly's sons raced Saturday.

"Triathlon is really an offshoot of what kids do anyway — swimming, biking and running," said Reilly, a family practitioner. "(His sons) play in all the team sports — tennis, basketball, baseball, tennis twice a week. Triathlon gives them more variety. It's natural for them to do it."

Blind triathlete comes back: Spectators might have noticed a tandem bicycle on the race course. It was for Orlando's Kyle Coon, 24, who has been blind since he was 6. When he was 10 months old, Coon was diagnosed with bilateral sporadic retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer. He lost his left eye when he was 5 and his right eye a year later.

Coon had poor eyesight for most of his life, so when he became completely blind, it wasn't much of an adjustment, he said.

"I knew I was a little different, but my parents didn't treat me any different from my sisters," he said. "When I lost my sight completely, I was lucky enough to be connected with the right people, chief among them Erik Weihenmayer (a world-class athlete who also is blind), who pushed me down the right path."

Coon went on to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and trek through the Andes of South America. On Sunday he completed his second St. Anthony's Triathlon with friend Michael Melton, who acts as his guide.

"St. Anthony's was the first-ever triathlon I had done, and I loved it so much, I wanted to come back and do it again," Coon said.

Sing, bike and run: Erin Cosgrove has triathlon in her blood. Her father, Dean, has been to the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii more than 20 times. Her sister Kailand, 24, is one of the Tampa Bay area's top elite triathletes.

Erin, an aspiring actor and singer, is a quadruple threat. She can sing, dance and act, then still do an Olympic-distance triathlon.

"This is where I did my first triathlon," she said after she sang the national anthem Sunday. "I just had to come back and do it again this year."

Cosgrove, a 27-year-old graduate of USF's music program, makes her home in Los Angeles. Her first single, Tennessee Lie, has just been released and is available on iTunes.

Comments

Captainís Corner: Redfish bite strong on afternoon high tide

Early morning stops at jetty rock piles have produced excellent action for a variety of species. Snook, redfish and trout are the targets. Free-lining live pilchards against the rocks at the strong part of the tide is your best opportunity for snook,...
Published: 05/25/18
Updated: 05/26/18

Captainís Corner: Early risers will be rewarded

This time of year is perfect for early risers who love to fly fish. Pods of snook are within a few feet of the sand in the trough along most beaches. Though the season is closed, catch-and-release opportunities have never been better. A large female ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Captainís Corner: Swimmer crabs attract big permit

Captainís Corner: Swimmer crabs attract big permit

The outgoing tides of last weekendís new moon washed thousands of small swimmer crabs, known locally as "pass crabs," out of the estuaries and into the gulf. This suddenly abundant food source offshore works as a natural chum line and draws big permi...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/23/18

Speckled trout are our most prevalent species around the bay area. They spawn year-round, so their numbers are sustained. They are a flourishing species. For sport, trout are easier to catch than almost everything else we have in the Gulf of Mexico. ...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Captainís Corner: With full moon, tarpon are on the move

With the full moon this next week tarpon are moving down the beaches and making their way out of the bay and moving out to the bridges and the passes to feed before some of them leave to go out and spawn on the full moon. Early in the morning along t...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Captainís Corner: Cloudier water improves the bite

Windy conditions this week have actually slightly improved fishing. The waters of Saint Joseph sound had become so clear that it made finding fish easy, but getting bites very difficult. Snook have been gathering in great numbers all along the beache...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18

Captainís Corner: Red grouper fishing continues to be good

Red grouper fishing continues to be steady in depths of 100-120 feet. Large bait stacks are holding a fish or two, but larger concentrations are on very small rolls and potholes in those depths. Zooming in on the bottom 10-15 feet of the water column...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/20/18

Captainís Corner: Catching a giant cobia

Cobia is the topic this week. Capt. Tom Markham, aboard the Simply Hooked, was beginning his daily bait routine. It turned out that one of the markers located near Clearwater Pass, surprisingly, had a giant fish waiting for him. The captain slid up t...
Published: 05/16/18

Captainís Corner: Tarpon showing up on beaches, bridges

This week shouldnít be a total wash out. While there is a chance of rain every day, it should only be sporadic. Hopefully it wonít dirty up the water too much. If you are a tarpon fisherman and look forward to their arrival like I do, then you are in...
Published: 05/14/18
Updated: 05/15/18

Captainís Corner: This is best time of year for bay area fishing

Itís the best time of year for fishing in the area. Tarpon can be targeted off of any of the bridges. The Gandy, Howard Frankland and Skyway are my top choices. While awaiting a tarpon strike, I kill time by dropping smaller baits for Spanish mackere...
Published: 05/13/18