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First-ever virtual, annual 10K Race 4 F.I.S.H. taking signups

By TIFFANY REPECKI / trepecki@breezenewspapers.com - | Sep 1, 2020

Registration opened last week for an annual event to benefit F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva.

Out of an abundance of caution and care for participants and islanders, the 12th annual 10K Race 4 F.I.S.H. will take place virtually this year. While the “official” date of the race was scheduled for Oct. 24, runners and walkers may log their time at any point from when they register through to Oct. 31.

“It is one of our fundraisers every year, and it’s one of our favorite fundraisers,” Executive Director Alicia Tighe said, noting that the popular island event usually helps to kick off the start of season.

Proceeds from the race support the programs and services provided by F.I.S.H.

“It helps us keep operations going throughout the year and ensures we can continue offering our services and programs to our clients,” she said.

F.I.S.H. is a human services organization focused for over 38 years on “neighbors helping neighbors.” Its mission is to lend a helping hand to those who live, work or visit Sanibel and Captiva and to enrich the lives of those on the islands with an array of food programs, workshops, social services and more.

“This year with COVID, we wanted to be abundantly cautious with keeping our community safe and healthy, not just the participants,” Tighe said. “In order to do that, we thought the best way to maintain that safety was to move our race to a virtual format.”

She added that the virtual format enables those not on the islands to take part.

“We thought it would be a really great way to continue to do the race and to continue to promote the work that we’re doing here at F.I.S.H.,” Tighe said.

Participants can submit their results manually or download the RaceJoy app.

“Anyone can register between now and the end date,” she said.

The entry fee is $40, which increases to $45 on Oct. 20.

“Everybody that does participate does receive a shirt,” Tighe said of the dri-fit tank T-shirt bearing the speciality, Hortoon 10K logo on the front. “They also are getting a face mask with the logo on it.”

The items will be mailed to participants.

As in years past, Hortoon’s creator Dave Horton designed the 12th annual logo, which depicts his lovable animal characters wearing masks and Halloween costumes to celebrate the month of October.

“Dave is a multi-talented artist and we are grateful to have him design our race logo each year,” Race Committee Chair Diane Cortese said. “His artistic talent and sense of humor adds something special to our race with each design.”

As of Aug. 27, about 20 people had already registered for the race.

“People are starting to sign up,” Tighe said.

Because of this year’s format, awards will not be given out in the various age groups.

“But by Nov. 1, everyone’s run times will be logged,” she said. “So they can compare how they did against other runners through the app.”

F.I.S.H. is also offering participants some fun incentives this year to get others involved. Their registration fee will be refunded if they raise $250 or more, excluding the processing fee.

“We are encouraging runners to do some fundraising on their own,” Tighe said.

They also can receive a $20 discount for every five referrals they get signed up.

“We just thought that it would be a really fun way to keep it community-driven,” she said.

Another new twist this year, F.I.S.H. found a way to maintain its partnership with The Community House and keep it involved in the event, even though the usual event will not take place on site.

“The race is always hosted out of The Community House,” Tighe said.

TCH Resident Chef Jarred Harris will serve a “carb” load dinner on Oct. 23 for those interested. The menu features grilled chicken breast with citrus notes, tomato pasta and vegetable bake, his beloved mac and cheese, salad and garlic bread. Dine in or car-side delivery are available.

“It’s an amazing menu put together by Chef Jarred,” she said.

Proceeds from the dinner will benefit TCH, another island entity hit hard by the pandemic.

“We really want to be supportive of them because we think they are such an important part of our community,” Tighe said, adding that TCH works with F.I.S.H. throughout the year on projects.

Islanders and non-islanders are invited to sign up for the race.

“Of course we think it’s a great cause, so we would love for everybody to continue to support F.I.S.H. through our virtual 10K event,” she said. “It’s really for runners or walkers of any kind of ability level.”

“And we want to encourage people to be healthy and stay safe, while giving back,” Tighe added.

To register, visit https://runsignup.com/Race/FL/Sanibel/SanibelIsland10KRace4FISH.

For more information or questions, contact F.I.S.H. at 239-472-4775.

Event sponsorships are still available. Cielo is serving as the premier sponsor.

“They’ve done (it) every year for the last several years,” she said. “We’re grateful to them for continuing to do that with us.”

For sponsorship details, contact Tighe at 239-472-4775 or alicia@fishofsancap.org.

For information on TCH dinner, visit www.sanibelcommunityhouse.net or call 239-472-2155.