Turtle Trotting Time Again

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            It’s that time of year once again: turtle trotting time! The Friends of Lovers Key (FOLKS) will be hosting the 11th Annual Lovers Key Turtle Trot 5k Run/Walk on Saturday May 14th, 2016. This isn’t your typical 5K course though. This event, sanctioned by the Ft. Myers Track Club, is a unique trail course that takes runners through a shady maritime hammock ecosystem on a hard packed shell path. Don’t worry about the rigors of running through a deep sandy terrain, as no part of the course requires running through beach sand. Runners will enjoy the beautiful Lovers Key scenery, topped off with a dramatic finish at the beach pavilion. After crossing the finish line, participants will be served refreshments and awards will be presented.

            “Trotters” are encouraged to register early and the first 500 registered will get an 11th Annual Turtle Trot T-shirt (subject to size availability). Early registration (through 5/13/16) for youth (18 and under) participants is $25 and $35 for adult early registration. Race Day entry fees will be $40 and all fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. Registrations on Race Day start at 7am and proceeds for the event benefit the 501(c)(3) Citizen Support Organization, The Friends of Lovers Key, Inc. Checks are made payable to Ft Myers Track Club and can be mailed to Fort Myers Track Club, PO Box 60131, Ft Myers, FL 33901. Mailed entries must be post marked no later than May 3rd, 2016. Registration can also be done online at http://bit.ly/turtletrot2016

            All participants receive a Turtle Trot Race Packet. Each packet includes an official Lovers Key Turtle Trot 5K T-shirt (first 500), official race number, course map and general instructions. Each race number will be equipped with the ChronoTrack Bib Tag Technology for timing the “trotter’s” progress. The event will have a chip start and finish and fans can follow the race via chip technology.

            The race begins at 8am. There will be 14 age groups ranging from 1-99 years old for male and female racers. There will be three awards given in each age division and will be based upon gun time. In addition to the age group awards are the Overall Winner Awards. The categories for the overall awards are top male and female Overall Winners, top m/f Masters Winners, top m/f Grandmaster Winners and top m/f Senior Grandmaster Winners.

            As with any outdoor event in South Florida, temperatures and humidity can be high and participants are advised to drink plenty of fluids (non-alcoholic) for 48 hours prior to, during and after finishing the race. Always be aware of heat related injury symptoms, such as dizziness, no sweating, nausea, cramps, redness and incoherent speech/thoughts. If symptoms occur, be sure to seek assistance immediately. Loose, light-colored clothing is recommended.

            For more information go to www.friendsofloverskey.org or contact the Ranger Station at (239) 463-4588 or stop by the Ranger Station at 8700 Estero Blvd to pick up a paper registration form.

Mike Yost