By Letitia Stein
It's easy to indulge in a little health and fitness on your visit to St. Pete/Clearwater. Whether it’s competing in mud wars, running a half marathon or just jogging along the beach, you’ll find tons of great ways to give your workout a kick (and enjoy some amazing water views while you’re at it).
Run in the Sun: Marathons, Triathalons and More
In April, you can flex your muscles at the St. Anthony’s Triathlon, a challenging 1.5K swim, 40K bike and 10K run. For something different, trade sunlight for moonlight on Dunedin’s Kiwanis Morton Plant Mease Midnight Run, held on the evening of July 3 and morning of July 4. It’s easy to find running events in St. Pete/Clearwater since marathons and other runs take place throughout the year. Plus, it’s always running season on the beaches and the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail.
Get Dirty at the Extreme Mud Wars
Every July, a day of down-and-dirty dodgeball, tug-a-war, football and more takes place on a playing field of freshly made mud. Teams of six to 10 athletes compete in eight events, including sumo-style belly bumping and jousting over a dunking pool. Between activities, cool off at the charity beer garden, jam to live music and experience the views from downtown St. Petersburg’s Spa Beach Park.
Ride and Roll: Cycling
With miles and miles of scenic bike trails, it’s no wonder that St. Petersburg ranks among the country’s top 10 cities for cycling. Enjoy beachfront riding along the Honeymoon Island spur of the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail, which offers a nearly uninterrupted ride across 40 miles. And check out the Ream Wilson Clearwater Trail, which ultimately will connect the Gulf of Mexico at Clearwater Beach and Tampa Bay at Safety Harbor. You can explore downtown St. Petersburg by bike too, by signing up with Coast Bike Share St. Pete. Just download the app, find a bike location, and pay as you go peddling around town.
Fitness Fun at Beaches and Parks
The region’s white-sand beaches and lush parks are a perennial playground for fitness buffs. Almost every day is a good day to enjoy a swim in the Gulf of Mexico, or bring your ball and a few friends for a game of beach volleyball. Or try paddle boarding in the Gulf of Mexico or kayaking in the intracoastal where the views are so engaging you’ll hardly notice the workout.