Race Participant Tom Kelly to Run 10K as 220th Race

Over 100 participants have registered for the 10K Race 4 F.I.S.H., a fundraising event for the nonprofit organization FISH OF SANCAP, scheduled for October 22 beginning at 7:30 a.m. The race is offered as an in-person event, with an option to participate virtually.  Registration is currently open for the event at ftmyerstrackclub.com.

Mr. Tom Kelly, a long-time race participant, will participate again this year, making this year’s 10K his 220th race entry since he began competing in 2011.  In 2021, the FISH 10K marked his 174th entry; in 2020 the FISH 10K was his 144th, and in 2018 his 100th.  Tom is proud to note that he will be running to celebrate turning 80 earlier this year and is pleased the 10K includes an ‘over 80’ age category. Says Tom, “Of course, I’ll be there on Oct. 22, and as always, I’m looking forward to a fun morning. I’ve kept up my schedule of racing about two times a month, and this past Saturday I did a 10K for St. Jude, another organization that does so much good. Thank God we have people in this world, including those at FISH and St. Jude, who spend so much energy brightening the days of those in desperate need.”

Tom began training and racing using a combination of run/walk in 2011 as a teammate on a very special triathlon team, Geared Up, following the loss of Barbara, his partner for fifty years.  He states he was lost and in desperate need to find something that would give his life purpose by helping him refocus his energy. He stopped running about three years ago to “save his knees and hips for tennis.”  Now, Tom powerwalks all of his races. “I have been proudly participating in the FISH 10K since 2012, and when I race, I prefer choosing one that champions a good cause. FISH has been supporting the people of Sanibel and Captiva for 40 years in various ways, and their motto, “Neighbors Helping Neighbors,” say it all,” says Tom. 

In addition to the FISH 10K, Tom will complete a marathon in Raleigh, NC mid-November.  This will be his fifth marathon, the first 4 were completed when he was in his 70s.  “Of every 8,000 athletes who complete a marathon, only one is 80. When I registered for the Raleigh marathon, I was the only 80 year old.  Maybe someone is trying to tell me something!”

The 10K Race, now in its 14th year, is a major fundraising event for FISH that supports the organization’s mission enriching the lives of all people in Sanibel and Captiva Islands as neighbors helping neighbors with social services, education and assistance.

FISH has been assisting islanders since 1982, offering food programs, financial assistance with rent or medical bills, senior programs to prevent isolation and other supports for aging-in-place, children’s nutrition and educational assistance and more. For additional information on the FISH organization, please contact Maria Espinoza, Executive Director at 239-472-4775 or visit their website at www.fishofsancap.org

For additional information on the 10K Race or if you are interested in sponsoring the event, please contact Nicole McHale at noel2me@icloud.com or Diane Cortese at Dianerc10@gmail.com, Race Committee Chairs.