Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Two ran entire Sunset to Sunrise Relay last year

Mike Melton gives new meaning to the word extreme. The Jensen Beach resident read last week's column regarding the Sunrise to Sunset Relay, a cross-the-state distance event usually run by relays, and pointed out that we left out the solo entrants.

Last March, three wildmen — Melton, Dante Ciolfi of Fort Myers and Hung Hg of Orlando — entered the race. Hung dropped out after 60 miles, but Ciolfi pressed on, completing the 170-mile course in 61 hours 22 minutes. Melton finished in 64 hours 29 minutes.

In February, as a tuneup for this year's race, Melton completed the LOST 118-mile endurance run around Lake Okeechobee. Out of the 15 starters, five finished the run. He finished fourth in 32 hours, 23 minutes.

Melton is hoping to improve his time when the Sunrise to Sunset Relay runs again March 28-29. Unseasonably warm weather last year led to problems with heat exhaustion for many runners. If the temperature remains cool, he hopes to finish in 60 hours.

More running: Don Bly, who grew up in Pinellas County and ran cross country at St. Petersburg High from 1989 to 1992 under legendary coach Rob Townsend, e-mailed last weekend to say that Pinellas isn't the only county entering runners in the Sunrise to Sunset Relay.

"We here in Tampa are also sending three teams to the Sunrise (to) Sunset Relay," Bly wrote. "All three of our teams are 12-person co-ed (6 guys & 6 gals), and we are hoping to finish 1-2-3 in this category."

Barry Hanerfeld, a longtime member of the Tampa running community, was primarily responsible for assembling the collection of 36 brave souls. Hanerfeld and Bly are both affiliated with the Blue Sharks, a training group based out of the Downtown Tampa YMCA and headed up by Fred Vasconi. The Sharks recently added Rick Cargo, a VP at Raymond James, and several of his coworkers to the team.

On another note, don't forget the Bay to Bay Classic coming up this Sunday. This 12K race, which runs straight across Pinellas County, usually produces some blistering times. Don't be deterred by the distance. There's a 5K and a fitness walk as well. Go to www.runbaytobay.com or call (727) 367-RACE.

Swimming: The St. Pete Masters is hosting its 38th annual short course yards championship at North Shore Pool on March 28-30. Organizers are expecting 250 to 300 swimmers from Florida and other states.

Admission is free, and the public is invited. Competition will run from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The St. Pete Masters Team has a national reputation for attracting world-class swimmers. At this meet last spring, 40-year-old Dara Torres, a four-time Olympic gold medal winner who competed in the '84, '88, '92, and 2000 summer games, set records in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events in preparation for the 2008 Olympic trials.

Triathlon: The St. Anthony's Triathlon, scheduled for April 27, may get all the press, but many of the top amateurs competing in Florida's premiere swim, bike and run event will be warming up two weeks before at the Annual Escape from Fort DeSoto Triathlon on April 12.

"We like to call this the people's triathlon," race organizer Fred Rzymek said. "We usually get a good crowd. I expect 1,000 triathletes this year."

This race — a one-half-mile swim, 10-mile bike and 4-mile run (that includes 60 stairs up the fort and 60 stairs down the fort) — is an excellent event for the beginning triathlete.

History buffs may remember that the St. Anthony's Triathlon ran the same course its first year, before moving to downtown St. Petersburg. Rzymek moved in to fill the void. This will be the 22nd running of the race.

For more information, go to www.escapefromftdesoto.com. He puts on other events worth marking on the calendar, as well. The second annual Sunrise Beach Biathlon (formerly known as the Sunset Beach Biathlon) is scheduled for June 14. This 2-mile run, one-half-mile swim, 1-mile run is a good way to get the blood pumping on a summer's evening. To learn more, go to www.sunsetbiathlon.com.

Rzymek of Clearwater and Joe Fernandez of Tampa also publish Florida Race Place magazine, which is available at most local running and biking stores. Check it out online at www.flraceplace.com.

Hats off: Tampa's Terri Rejimbal, who was the second-place female finisher at this year's Gasparilla half-marathon, just ran the very competitive Snickers Marathon in 3 hour, 15 minutes, 33 seconds in Albany, Ga., on March 2. Rejimbal finished in 14th place among the women and was third in her age group.

Terry Tomalin can be reached at tomalin@sptimes.com, or by calling (727) 893-8808. Send your swimming, biking, running, triathlon and adventure racing information to community.tampabay.com and click on the "Submit info" link.

Two ran entire Sunset to Sunrise Relay last year 03/11/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:35am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Fennelly: What's not to like about Lightning's start?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — No one is engraving the Stanley Cup. No one has begun stuffing the league MVP ballot box for Nikita Kucherov.

    The Lightning, with a win tonight, would match the best start in franchise history, 7-1-1 in the 2003-04 Cup season.
  2. Quarterback Jameis Winston will start Sunday for the Bucs

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Jameis Winston hadn't thrown in practice since he injured his right shoulder in Sunday's loss at Arizona, and with that uncertainty, a wide line of TV cameras and reporters' cellphones were all out Friday morning, recording the moment as Winston tested his shoulder with his first throws early in …

    Despite a sore shoulder, Jameis Winston will be making his 38th consecutive start since being drafted first overall in 2015.
  3. Bucs journal: LB Kwon Alexander ready to return from injury

    Bucs

    TAMPA — LB Kwon Alexander, sidelined by a hamstring injury since the second quarter of the Bucs' season opener against Chicago, will finally make a healthy return Sunday against the Bills.

    Linebacker Kwon Alexander needs “to get my stats back up” after being out since the opener.
  4. A rare treat Saturday for Rowdies: a home playoff game

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rowdies fans, set to be rewarded with their first home playoff match in five years, can also take a little credit for it.

    From left, Georgi Hristov, Joe Cole and Marcel Schafer are among the Rowdies’ top scorers.
  5. Why it's too early to give up on the Bucs

    Bucs

    Don't panic. It's not too late for the Bucs.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) and wide receiver Mike Evans (13) celebrate after the defense recovered a fumble during the second half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times