Monthly Archives: January 2011

Need a ‘Core’ Speaker at Your Next Event?


Looking for a speaker for your next business meeting or running/triathlon group event? Endurance Sports Florida editor Pete Williams is the co-author of Mark Verstegen‘s best-selling Core Performance fitness books, which have revolutionized the way people train. All five of their books are geared toward helping athletes perform better, move more efficiently and powerfully, and decrease the potential for injury.

The original book, Core Performance, popularized the core training phenomenon

Core Performance Endurance

when it was published in 2004. The third book, Core Performance Endurance, was targeted specifically for the endurance athlete, though all five books are beneficial to anyone looking to improve their times. The most recent book, Core Performance Women, addressed issues specific to women and their training.

Williams has given talks on Core Performance in settings ranging from business events to running group meetings. If he can jump start your next gathering, email him at


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Warrior Dash a Smash

By Pete Williams

Warrior Dash participants at Lake Wales

The Florida debut of the Warrior Dash attracted 12,500 participants to the Triple Canopy Ranch in Lake Wales, according to Wesley Alden of The Orlando Sentinel, who filed a lengthy report on the event.

Obstacle-laden, adventure mud runs have exploded in popularity as we chronicled earlier this week, but still these numbers are staggering. The Triple Canopy Ranch is best known for music festivals, ATV races, and off-road truck events, but we’re guessing the success of the Warrior Dash will attract other endurance sports promoters to the 425-acre property. Thanks to Bob Woerner for the photo.

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Hundreds Take Florida Trail Challenge

By Pete Williams

LITHIA, Fla. – Florida might lack the sort of hills and technical difficulties that trail runners from the West have come to enjoy. But venues such as Alafia River State Park, site of this morning’s Florida Challenge Half Marathon/5K Trail Run, offers some pretty steep terrain.

Endurance Sports Florida was on hand and while we didn’t tackle the half marathon as we did two years ago, we had a blast on the 5K course, which also is the last 5K of the half marathon. Jim Hartnett and the folks at TampaRaces have set the standard for trail running in Florida. They’re hosting three events on the new Florida XTerra Trail Run series. We filed this video report on this morning’s race:

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New Promo Video for ‘Streak the Cove 5K’

By Pete Williams

We’re proud to be organizing the clothing-optional Streak the Cove 5K at the Cypress Cove Resort on Sunday, May 22. You might not think a clothing-optional 5K is for you, but we had terrific response to our inaugural Bare Dare 5K at the Caliente Resort & Spa near Tampa in October. Nearly 200 runners competed and almost 40 percent were female, which is higher than the 35 percent female rate at a typical 5K.

We shot this promo video at Cypress Cove yesterday. You’ll hear from Sabrina Vizzari, who while serving as an activities director for the Lake Como Resort as a college student launched the Dare to Go Bare 5K race, which is still held the first Sunday in May. Whit Lasseter, who like Sabrina serves as a co-host of our Fitness Buff Show, talks about her first nude running experience; she was the first female finisher of the Bare Dare as well as our first Endurance Sports Florida Enduring Athlete of the Month.

For more information on these races, visit

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Standup Paddle – Best Ab Exercise Anywhere?

By Pete Williams

Chase Kosterlitz

When people try stand-up paddle boarding for the first time, they inevitably marvel at what a phenomenal core workout it is.

If you have any doubt, consider the story of Chase Kosterlitz, profiled in today’s St. Petersburg Times. Kosterlitz played college basketball for Loyola University in New Orleans before transferring to Eckerd College in St. Pete. Judging by basketball photos of him from that period on his Facebook page, he was in pretty good shape. These days, he looks like a model. In fact, he was voted “best abs” during on online poll during the Wilhelmina Hot Body Model Search last fall. (The Times story includes a picture of Chase and his eight-pack.)

Not surprisingly, Chase now makes a living at SUP, giving lessons and tours out of his Water Monkey Shop in St. Pete and organizing the Fall Paddle Festival, where I made my SUP race debut in October.

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Florida: Marathon Mecca?

By Pete Williams

Races like the Women's Half Marathon in St. Pete have bolstered Florida's status as a marathon destination

With the ING Miami Marathon and Half Marathon scheduled to welcome a record 21,000 runners this weekend, is it now fair to ask if Florida is the best marathon state in the country?

Sure, the Sunshine State has no single race to rival Boston, New York, Chicago or Washington (Marine Corps). But it has two solid second-tier events in Miami and Disney, which attracted more than 44,000 runners for its marathon and half-marathon three weeks ago.

No state has capitalized on the half-marathon (13.1 mile) craze more so than Florida, which averages at least one half marathon every weekend between Halloween and mid-March.

Florida, of course, is one of few states with a climate conducive to such as schedule. Still, it’s impressive how the state has become a mecca for marathoners – certainly half marathoners. At a time when the tourism-dependent state still is reeling from the economy, the latest running boom has been a godsend.

Florida’s unemployment rate is higher than the national average and even that number is probably low given the number of struggling self-employed people who do not factor into those numbers. If, as many industry observers believe, many of these folks have turned to running as a low-cost outlet for exercise, entertainment, and to work out frustrations, it’s perhaps no surprise that the sport has grown faster in Florida than in many states.

Plenty of blanket coverage about the Miami Marathon in South Florida. The Miami Herald offers a lengthy preview and Herald sports columnist Linda Robertson tells the inspiring story of Dawn Walton, a Largo teacher who is running the race after a three-year transformation in which she went from 404 to 165 pounds. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel details the comeback of Fort Lauderdale resident and onetime Olympic hopeful Stacie Alboucrek.

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A Positive Addiction


By Pete Williams

Whitney Lasseter is a picture of health: an avid runner, fitness model, and healthy lifestyle coach. It’s hard to believe just five years ago her life was spiraling out of control.

She was a party girl, addicted to drugs, a veteran of rehabilitation centers, gaining weight and a smoker before a near-death experience provided a wake-up call.

Running proved to be her salvation. These days, the Palm Harbor resident and single mother of two enters most every race she can find in Central Florida, usually finishing at or near the top of her age group. Lasseter, 31, traveled overseas for the first time in October to compete in the Amsterdam Half Marathon and hopes to continue to pursue her love of travel and running while showing others how to turn their lives around through healthy living and running.

Lasseter, whose Web site is is our inaugural selection for the Endurance Sports Florida Enduring Athlete of the Month.

Q: Why are you so open about your troubled past?

A: I like to show people that you can overcome things. I know a lot people in the Tampa Bay area and they think I’m just happy-go-lucky athlete with no issues whatsoever. I think it’s important for me to share my story to help others.

Q: Where did things go wrong?

A: I was young and pretty and liked to party and I’ve always been sort of an all-or-nothing kind of person, which now is obvious with my training.  Back then I didn’t know how to channel it; I made bad decisions that got me into more trouble. I’ve matured and found a way to use my addictive personality in a positive way.

Q: How did running help?

A: I discovered running while I was still smoking cigarettes and my dad, who has been a runner, said I’d either quit running or quit cigarettes. I quit the cigarettes and at first I’d run a quarter a mile, then a half mile and it just grew until I did a 7-mile loop. Myrna Haag, an elite triathlete mentor of mine, said I needed to compete and I did a 23:20 in my first 5K. Since then I’ve dropped three minutes in two years. My ultimate goal is to beat dad’s 10K time of 38:38 when he was 38.

Q: So you’ve replaced one addiction with a positive one?

A: Exactly. I used to seek that high from outside sources: drugs, alcohol and partying and now I get it from life. And I want other people to realize that’s possible. People are searching for this joy and I’ve learned that it’s all within you.

Q: So your running career is just getting started.

A: It really is. I was talking to a guy I run with, a 54-year-old who starting running when he was 44. Now he’s doing

three-hour marathons and all of his PRs have come after the age of 50. It doesn’t matter when you start. We have unlimited potential and it’s all in your head. That’s why I’ve gotten into healthy lifestyle coaching because I know what it’s like to be in a bad place and to be overweight. Anything is possible and people can reach that full potential if they have someone to point them in the right direction. If I can do it anyone can.

Q: You recently completed the Amsterdam Half Marathon (in a PR time of 1:34:51). What made you choose that event?

A: I had been thinking, “Where in the world would I like to go?” I met a new friend, a non-runner, and suggested the race in Amsterdam. I trained him and he did a 5K, 10k, and half marathon. We just went for the weekend and it was such a great experience. I was the first U.S. woman to finish and I was the 43rd woman overall. I have not done a marathon at this point but the sky is the limit. The Ironman definitely sparks an interest as well.

Q: You were the first female finisher at the clothing-optional Caliente Bare Dare 5K in October. What was that like?

A: It was my first nude running experience and I kind of eased my way into it in the hour leading up to the race. I’m not a nudist, so it was kind of nerve racking to disrobe in front of all my running friends but it was fine after I got over the initial discomfort of it.

Q: What makes you an enduring athlete?

A: Whenever I see people in pain pushing themselves, that inspires me to do better. If they can do that 18-minute 5K, then why can’t I? We all have the same potential.

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