Longtime race promoter Fred "Rizzi" Rzymek thinks working to further bay area endurance sports brings satisfaction and enjoyment. Publishing his Race Place Magazine and organizing Florida triathlon's season opener, Rzymek is busy this time of the year.
Rzymek, of Safety Harbor, will present a $500 check to the St. Pete Mad Dogs Triathlon Club this week to show his appreciation to the 185 members who preregistered for the April 12 Escape From Fort DeSoto Triathlon (swim one-half mile, bike 15.5 miles and run 3.1 miles).
More than 500 triathletes are expected to compete, among them from the bay area: Claudia Junqueira, 31; Brian Butler, 33; Rod Jones, 31; and John Woodruff, 35, all of St. Petersburg; Mike Hood, 36, of Largo; Thierry Rouillard, 32; and Tom Singletary, 55, both of Tampa; Margo Schneider, 49, of Clearwater; Anne Page, 48, of St. Pete Beach; and Tierre Verde's Dr. Jack Pyhel, 52, a former U.S. national sprint triathlon champion.
Pyhel, a cardiologist, promotes the sport by coaching dozens of triathletes who are tough enough to attempt North Shore Pool's grueling noontime workouts. Most of Pyhel's swimmers are St. Pete Masters, All-Americans and USA Triathlon Team USA members. Some are Ironman finishers. All, including swimming powerhouse Anne Page (Team Saturn), have credited Pyhel's workouts with their success in the water.
CHASE THE EASTER BUNNY BICYCLE ROAD RACES: Team Bradenton/Sarasota Cycling Club presents the Third Annual Chase The Easter Bunny Road Races on at 7:30 a.m. Saturday in Ellenton. USA Cycling categories will include Junior Men and Women, Masters Women, Category 5 and Open, Professionals with Categories 1 and 2, Categories 3 and 4, Senior Women, Masters 35-44 and Masters 45 and over.
For information, call Ringling Bicycles at (941) 749-1442; or contact Florida's USA Cycling District Representative Joel Goldmacher by e-mail at usacyclaol.com.
SPRING CLASSIC: St. Petersburg Bicycle Club presents the Ninth Annual Spring Classic bicycle tour at 9 a.m. April 13 at the Manatee County Fairgrounds in Palmetto. Ride distances will be 19, 35 and 60 miles. For tour information, call Earnie Foster at 867-9513.
PROTECT-A-KID PRODUCTS: St. Petersburg Bicycle Club member Mark Murzyn said the Protect-A-Kid's unique iron-on identification labels might help save lives, and he recommends them to all parents of cycling children.
The labels work well on children's cycling and skating clothing and serve to identify that child in an emergency.
The Protect-A-Kid program has a 24-hour staff of operators who have assisted lost, missing or injured children by contacting parents or medical help listed in a special database. For information, call Murzyn at896-6095.
STRAWBERRY SUCCESS: A turnout of 1,000 riders filled the roads on a sunny, windy morning Sunday in Plant City for the 15th Annual Strawberry Century ride. The crowd headed to the cycling landmark BuddyFreddy's Restaurant afterward was a mix of West Coast Wheelmen, Team Bradenton, Team MAJIC and Kidspeed Cycling Club racers, as well as families out for some relaxed Sunday cycling.
TOUR OF PINELLAS: Bay Area Bicycle Club presents the Third Annual Tour Of Pinellas at 8 a.m. April 20 at the south end of the Bayside Bridge. Rides will be 15, 30 and 62 miles. For information, call Tom Ferraro at 446-2744.
CROSS FLORIDA RIDE: Spacecoast Freewheelers have organized the popular Cross Florida tour, which is billed as a "not for novice ride," at 5:30 a.m. May 4 in Cocoa Beach.
The tour distance is 170 miles in moderately hilly terrain. Cutoff time will be 14 hours. Support will be provided to riders, including rest stops, supplemental ride insurance, T-shirt, maps and water bottles.
Check out these new sites:
Florida mountain bike racing:
St. Pete Mad Dogs Triathlon Club:
St. Anthony's Triathlon: