Stormy morning leads to picture perfect finish
ST. PETERSBURG, FL (April 30, 2022) – Weathering wind, rain, tornado warnings and related course adjustments, Jason West and Paula Findlay claimed victory over the elements and the competition today at St. Anthony’s Triathlon along St. Petersburg’s scenic downtown waterfront.
Race organizers changed the course after small craft advisories prevented safety boats from launching, pivoting to a Run/Bike/Run format for all competitors in both the Olympic (1.4 miles/25 miles/6.2 miles) and Sprint (1.25 miles/15 miles/3.1 miles) distances.
By the time athletes crossed the finish line, the sun was brightly shining – even as wind continued gusting up to 45 mph. West finished the adjusted course in 1:33:46 for his first win at St. Anthony’s Triathlon. Returning champion Findlay completed the race in 1:46:09.
“This is one of the most special races on my race calendar,” said West after finishing the event for the fifth time. “The community here is so amazing, I feel like a have a second family. To come here and finally get the win with all of them cheering for me is just a really special feeling. Hopefully it’s the first of many.”
Findlay, who is now 2 for 2 winning back-to-back at St. Anthony’s, said today’s race brought unique challenges.
“This is not what we trained for. There were a lot of unknowns. It was really windy and overall challenging from start to finish,” Findlay said. “I don’t think I’ve ever been the defending champion and I’m so excited. The community support here is amazing, the volunteers are great and its always a race that I love coming back to.”
From a modest beginning four decades ago with 30 professionals and 600 age-group competitors racing along the shoreline of Fort DeSoto Park, St. Anthony’s Triathlon has grown to include nearly 3,000 amateur and professional athletes from 40 states and 10 countries.
Matthew Sharpe, last year’s winner, finished second among the men in 1:35:57 and Nicholas Quenet was third in 1:36:29.
Rounding out the women’s podium were Vittoria Lopes who finished in second place (1:48:23) and Lisa Becharas who finished third (1:49:09).
In the Sprint Triathlon, the top three women were Celia Dubey (1:05:19), Mariaangel Lozada (1:06:57), and Abby Beltrani (1:08:58), while the top three male finishers were Alcides De Quesada (59:57), Ragnar Mendez (1:01:37), and Brian Durden (1:02:36).
Recently voted one of the top 3 triathlons in the country by USA Today, this year marks the 40th year of St. Anthony’s Triathlon.
“This historic 40th St. Anthony’s Triathlon was a great success despite the unusual weather,” said Patrick Magee, race director for the event. “We had an excellent field, exceptional sponsors and, of course, the absolute best fans and volunteers who all made adjustments to accommodate the weather and support this incredible event.”
Dates for next year’s 41st St. Anthony’s Triathlon will be announced soon. Registration for the 2024 event will open later this year.
About St. Anthony’s Hospital
St. Anthony’s Hospital is a 448-bed hospital founded in 1931 as a ministry of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany. The hospital has a rich history dedicated to improving the health of the community by providing high-quality, in
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