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Runners get the chance to race in charitable 10K event on island

By Staff | Sep 8, 2009

Island runners and walkers will have the chance to prove their mettle while at the same time benefiting a local charity.

F.I.S.H., a non-profit organization dedicated to helping island residents with a variety of needs including financial hardship, is teaming with the Fort Myers Track Club to put a 10K race together.

The Sanibel 10K Race 4 F.I.S.H. will be held on Saturday, Oct. 17 starting at 7:30 a.m. on Sanibel, said F.I.S.H. board member and race chairman Joel Soobitsky. Registration will be at 6:30 a.m.

Special awards include a T-shirt and medallion for all runners. Refreshments will be served. Deadline for pre-registration is Saturday, Oct. 10. Cost is $20 per runner. Race day registration is $25. Entry forms will be available at the Bank Of The Islands, located at 1699 Periwinkle Way, and Run Florida inside the Training Grounds Gym, located at 13211 McGregor Blvd. in Fort Myers. Checks should be made payable to FMTC – Fort Myers Track Club. The registration and any subsequent donation made is considered tax deductible since F.I.S.H. is a non-profit agency.

Soobitsky came up with the idea to have a race with local realtors and runners Sandy Ramseth and Rob Coscia. The pair, who own Sancap One Source Realty, are avid runners and will be sponsors for the event. F.I.S.H. hopes to raise desperately needed dollars to fund the heavily relied-upon organization.

Due to current economic conditions, F.I.S.H.’?s client base has swelled. The need for food, emergency rent money and other assistance is increasing, Soobitsky noted. The 6.2-mile course will be plotted along roads and trails through Sanibel. The race will begin at the Sanibel Community House, located at 2173 Periwinkle Way.

Medallions, which will resemble sand dollars, will be given to all runners regardless of where they place in the race. There will also be awards for first, second and third place in different age categories and both sexes.

In addition, local service organizations will organize the parking and race-related activities. The Sanibel Police Department will maintain order and safety. Tarpon Bay Road will also be closed, according to Coscia.

This race will be a first for some islanders and Southwest Florida residents. Two years ago there was a run on the new Sanibel Causeway after it opened. The race itself should be fun for those looking for a scenic adventure.

“It’?s a nice green course throughout,”? Coscia said.

His partner Ramseth, a diehard runner herself, can?t wait do the race.

“I think a lot of people are really going to be really excited about this race,?” she said.

Marty Shaw, a board member with the Fort Myers Track Club, said the race is expected to draw a lot of people who don?t ordinarily come to Sanibel.

“It will offer a behind-the-scenes view of Sanibel,?” she said.

Shaw explained that the race will offer something different for runners who want to go longer than the average 5K event. This race will also offer off-road running as well as on-road. Runners times will be monitored by chips they are given during registration.

In addition, Shaw said that she expects around 200 runners to come for the race. Those numbers are expected to go up as the race becomes an annual event.

Sponsors are still being sought for the 90-minute race. For more information about the race or to become a spensor, contact the Fort Myers Track Club at their Web site, located at www.ftmyerstrackclub.com.