By Pete Williams
That’s all part of the package for the Shark Bite Challenge, formerly the Caladesi Kayak Challenge, which includes two days (April 16-17) of paddle races. If you can paddle it, you’re pretty much in. Not surprisingly, a large stand-up paddleboard (SUP) contingent is expected for Sunday. There’s even free beer involved during the pre-event welcome and early registration at the Dunedin Brewery from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Friday, April 15.
The race is organized by Karen Mirlenbrink, owner of the Dunedin Pilates Studio and an accomplished paddler who recently put us through a Pilates routine on The Fitness Buff Show (see video below).
Name of Race: Shark Bite Challenge
Location: Honeymoon Island State Park, Dunedin
History: The Shark Bite Challenge is a fundraiser for the Friends of the Island Parks, a non-profit, citizen support organization that supports the efforts of Caladesi and Honeymoon Island State Parks.
Format: Two-day event kicks off Saturday, April 16 with a nine-mile, 6-man outrigger canoe race. The following day, there’s a 4-mile and an 8-mile kayak, canoe, surfski, OC1, SUP, and prone paddleboard race.
Schwag: The Shark Bite Challenge works in conjunction with the Island Earth Days festival. With registration, all racers receive a dry-fit t-shirt, lunch, and VIP seating at the festival – guaranteed to first 75 registrants. Mention the Shark Bite Challenge upon entering the park and your $8 parking fee will be waived.
Signature Feature: Honeymoon Island and Caladesi Island are consistently rated among America’s most beautiful beaches.
Projected Turnout: 100-plus
Post-race: Lunch, VIP seating at the festival
Cost: A bargain at $20 per day or $30 for both days. (One shirt only)
Sign-Up: Via Active.com