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10K Race offers challenges, with rewards

By Staff | Oct 14, 2015

The Sanibel School 10K Team from the 2014 race: Front row: Beru Pierce Elaina Suslick. Middle row: Matthew Dunn, D.J.Jenkins, Anna Lermer, Alayna Aracri and Carly Ross. Back row: Chet Sproles, Maggie Goldsmith (FISH Director of Operations & Grants), Jackson McKee, Tylor Stewart (Sanibel School teacher), Jamie Reid (Sanibel School Vice Principle), Diane Cortese (Sanibel School teacher), Anne Franke (Sanibel School teacher), Savannah Nippa and Caitlin Ross. PHOTO PROVIDED

It may not be the biggest fundraising event for Sanibel’s non-profit F.I.S.H. organization, but the 10K Race 4 F.I.S.H. is the easily the most enjoyable and rewarding for those who are participating.

There will be nearly 500 runners who will take to the beautiful Sanibel road course Saturday, Oct. 17, which starts and ends at the Community House, located at 2173 Periwinkle Way.

The event is entering its seventh year and in each and every one, it has grown larger and larger.

“Each year it has built up,” said F.I.S.H. Board President John Pryor. “Up until two years ago, it was our biggest fundraiser, then we started our Gala event at The Sanctuary. But this 10K race is as solid a fundraiser we have for F.I.S.H.”

Even though the many legs running the 10K course is the featured aspect of the day, it’s the sponsors of the event which are the engine.

There were up to 460 runners who competed in the 2014 F.I.S.H. of Sancap 10K Race, which is held on Sanibel Island. PHOTO PROVIDED

Sponsors continue to make the 10K race an important fundraiser for the organization, which provides important goods to the needy such as food, social programs, emergency assistance. F.I.S.H. has been an integral funding source for over 250 families annually.

The agency also supplies everything else from links to job providers, counselors, computer access, hard goods and just about anything else which families in need can use.

F.I.S.H. used 86 percent of its 2014 budget to fund client programming, so fundraisers such as the 10K race, are vital.

“Sponsors make this event go, along with the volunteers,” Pryor said. “This 10K race has been a very strong fundraiser for us.”

The Fort Myers Track Club is an integral group which helps run the race, as well.

“From seniors to youth, F.I.S.H. lends a hand to those in need who live, work or visit our islands, said Ed Ridlehoover, F.I.S.H. Board vice-chair and 10K race committee co-chair, in a prepared statement from FISH. “We are grateful for the runners, volunteers and sponsors who support the 10K race results.”

The race is competitive and with it being 10K, one which is a rare challenge in the area. Most races are eight 5K or a half-marathon, so a 10K is perfect for the runner who wants the in-between challenge.

The race starts at 7:30 a.m. Oct. 17, in front of the Community House. The closed-circuit course includes a right turn within the first mile to Casa Ybel Road and a turn-around at Island Inn Road with a mile and a half remaining.

Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane will also be the feature presenter of the awards at the end of the race.

Sanibel School’s National Honor Society and Student Council are forming a team for the fifth year, as well.

“We select this charitable organization because it helps anyone, from babies to our seniors, through F.I.S.H. Food Pantry, Blessings in a Back Pack, visiting families or seniors, providing meals and so many other valuable social services,” said Diane Cortese, Sanibel Middle School match teacher who coordinates the team, in a prepared statement from FISH.

The Premier Sponsor of the 10K race is Sanibel Captiva Trust Company.

“We look forward each year to being the Premier Sponsor of the 10K run,” said Sanibel Captiva Trust’s Executive Vice President Steve Greenstein. “Neighbors helping neighbors is what F.I.S.H. is all about and we are proud to support their efforts to strengthen the fabric of our community.”

Last year, the race had 460 runners and the sponsor list is growing each year, as well.

“We’re pleased with that number,” Pryor said. “We will be close to that number again this year.”

To pre-register for the race, visit fishofsancap.org or ftmyerstrackclub.com. Runners can begin checking in at 6:30 a.m. Oct. 17, at the FMTC table inside the Community House lobby.