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First F.I.S.H. 10K effort a stellar success for road runners

By Staff | Oct 19, 2010

The overall winner of the race was Cape Coral resident John Biffar, who completed the course in 33 minutes, 28 seconds.

As dawn broke on Saturday morning, 351 runners gathered outside the Sanibel Community House, the scene of so many historic events on island.

Less than two hours and 10 kilometers later, all 351 were looking back on an achievement they will forever remember.

The weather had cooperated – sunny and cool, a typical Sanibel fall morning, hundreds of volunteers had lined the route to maintain safety, provide water and cheer the runners on; and 70 sponsoring organizations had the satisfaction of knowing that their generosity would enable F.I.S.H. (Friends In Service Here) to continue its work of neighbors helping neighbors on Sanibel.

“We were completely thrilled with the occasion,” said Maggi Feiner, President of F.I.S.H. “The conditions were perfect, the runners produced some splendid performances and the many spectators really got into the spirit of the event. We are deeply grateful to all who came along to help F.I.S.H. and particularly to our sponsors who made it all possible.”

The race, held in conjunction with the Fort Myers Track Club, whose superb organization meant that everything went without a hitch, supported F.I.S.H.’s objective of raising funds so that this kind-hearted group can continue to provide a range of human services on the island.

Sandy Ramseth, left, and Robert Coscia are all smiles as they completed the 10 kilometer course.

Most of the runners came from the Southwest Florida region, with some competitors hailing from as far away as California, Colorado, Rhode Island, New York, Minnesota and Massachusetts. One runner came from Berlin, Germany, which gave the inaugural race an international flavor.

The Overall Male Winner was John Biffar, 27, of Cape Coral, who completed the course in 33 minutes, 28 seconds. The Overall Female Winner was Tiffany Chartier, 32, of Fort Myers, who finished with a time of 35 minutes, 10 seconds.

Locally, Sanibel’s Eric Maw, 45, finished with a time of 40 minutes, 41 seconds.

According to race organizers, the F.I.S.H. 10K looks set to be “a permanent feature on the island calendar for many years to come.”

F.I.S.H of Sanibel, Inc. is a non-profit volunteer organization assisting Sanibel and Captiva islanders and visitors with a wide range of services. For more than 29 years, it has been a “neighbor helping neighbors” organization offering free human services such as transportation for medical appointments, meal delivery, health equipment, food pantry, and emergency financial assistance.

Just before the beginning of the race, runners at the starting line prepare themselves for Saturday's inaugural event.

The F.I.S.H. Walk-in-Center is now located at 1630 Periwinkle Way, Unit B (next to Pfeiffer Realty Group) and is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. F.I.S.H. can be contacted at 472-4775.