May 1, 2007 — Press Release: The 24th annual St. Anthony’s Triathlon kicked off another milestone year with a record number of more than 4,000 amateur and professional athletes from 46 states and 15 countries. The first wave of the Olympic-distance race began when the professional male competitors entered the calm 77-degree waters of the Tampa Bay at 7 a.m.
Once completing the 1.5K (0.9-mile) swim, athletes transitioned into the 40K (24.8-mile) bike portion throughout downtown St. Petersburg and final 10K (6.2-mile) run. Spectators lined both sides of the finish line to cheer on athletes at the end of their almost 32-mile competition.
After a third place finish in the 2006 St. Anthony’s Triathlon, Matt Reed of Boulder, Colo., maintained his lead in this year’s race to become the professional male champion with a finish time of 1:46:10—breaking the previous record set by Rasmus Henning of Denmark (1:46:14) in 2006.
“This is a nice way to come back,” said Reed, 32, a native of New Zealand. “I planned to ride hard, have a big lead and hold it. The course was fast all the way around. Once in front, it was out-of-sight, out-of-mind.”
The record breaking triathlon continued when the top two female professional athletes— Michelle Dillon and Sarah Haskins—broke a 14-year record set by Donna Peters (1:59:00) with a 1:57:45 and 1:57:49 finish, respectively.
Surprised by her record win, Dillon, 34, said it was a difficult race. “I was 40 seconds down on my run. It was a matter of pushing myself.” Dillon is an Olympian from Great Britain. Haskins, 26, also finished second in last year’s St. Anthony’s Triathlon. “I had a big lead, but I’m happy with second place and my bike and swim.”
Australians Greg Bennett, 35, and Craig Alexander, 34, rounded out the top three professional male. Bennett had a finish time of 1:46:30 and Alexander had a finish time of 1:48:07. Bennett was the 2005 St. Anthony’s pro male winner. Julie Diebens completed the race in under two hours to place third with a time of 1:59:06.
As one of the nation’s premier multi-sport events, St. Anthony’s Triathlon, sponsored and produced by St. Anthony’s Health Care, is known for attracting high-caliber, world-class athletes to its scenic course along the waterfront of downtown St. Petersburg..