ST. PETERSBURG — The white tents lining the perimeter of Straub Park heading into the weekend herald the 31st St. Anthony’s Triathlon, an event organizers say will bring millions of dollars to the local economy — as well as a few traffic snarls.
The swimming-bicycling-running event is expected to draw 3,700 athletes and possibly thousands of spectators downtown both Saturday and Sunday. While the main race and a shorter “Sprint” version will be Sunday morning, an event geared toward young people, the “Meek and Mighty Triathlon,” will be Saturday.
On Sunday, some of the world’s top professional triathletes will compete in a 1.5-kilometer swim, a 40K bike race and a 10K running race for $65,000 in prize money. For the safety of participants, portions of some roads will be closed as the runners and cyclists pass through.
The cycling portion will go from Vinoy Park south to Pinellas Point and back, primarily along Fourth and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. streets. The running portion moves along Coffee Pot Bayou and through Snell Isle. The swimming will be off Spa Beach.
Some streets will be intermittently closed over the race’s duration. These are First Avenue South between 28th and First streets; Fourth Street South between 18th Avenue and Pinellas Point Drive; and portions of First, Third, Fourth and Sixth streets south between First Avenue and Pinellas Point Drive. The Snell Isle Bridge will have limited vehicle traffic.
“The support of local residents is essential to the success of this world-class event,” St. Anthony’s Triathlon manager Susan Daniels said in a statement. “We really appreciate the understanding and support we receive from the community.”