By Kelly Legg

The old saying, “the family that prays together, stays together” holds very true for the Geist/Palas family, except this family not only prays together, but they’ve been entering races together for more than four years.

Recently, the Apollo Beach family participated in the Dunedin triathlon, which is known as a great race, especially for first time triathletes. Four years ago, Liza Palas Geist, along with her husband, Donny Geist, competed in this event as Liza’ s first triathlon.

Now, four years later, there was a first-time participant within the family of athletes again. Even though this was not Lizas first triathlon, this was her first time participating in the race with a little Geist gestating. Liza is four and a half months pregnant with her first baby.

The race consisted of a quarter-mile swim, 12-mile bike and a 5k run.

Liza competed only in the 5k running portion of the race, as she cannot complete the swim and bike portion due to the pregnancy.

“It’s good to have family of triathletes because my 15-year-old old nephew, Cameron Palas, swam for me and my older brother, Kristian Palas, did the bike,” said Liza. “Our team was called “Team Palas-Geist -3 + 1 On The Way.” 

The family placed fourth in the relay division.

“We had a lot of family and friends attending, including pit crew team captain ‘Mama’ Elizabeth Palas, nephew Ethan Palas, Kristian’s girlfriend and godson Tamara and Adrian Ramirez, and friends Noah Pransky, Paola Gruner and Libby Boosalis,” said Liza.

Four year ago, Boosalis came to support Liza at her first triathlon when Boosalis was pregnant with her first child, Elina. Now, Liza is pregnant with her first child at Boosalis’ first triathlon. Boosalis placed sixth in her age group and won the Elite Athlete award.

“Despite the sacrifices, hours of training and getting up at 4 a.m., we all had a blast and sense of accomplishment and celebration,” said Liza.

Donny and Liza nick-named the baby “Weebie,” and even Weebie received a medal for his (or her) participation in the event.

For more information of the Dunedin triathlon, visit

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Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.