Mr. Tom Kelly, a long-time FISH race participant, recently registered for the FISH 10K/5K fundraising race, making this year’s race his 240th entry since he began competing in 2012. “The hurricane threw me a little off track,” says Tom. “I, along with 500 other ground floor condo owners in Fort Myers, had to leave for 4 months following the storm because of all the inside damage. I am thinking about moving to be closer to my children and grandchildren but I should still be here on December 2nd for the race.” Tom notes that the race has always had a very special place in his heart.
FISH celebrated Tom and his accomplishments over the years, and helped him celebrate his 100th race back in 2018. Last year was to be in celebration of Tom’s 80th birthday, but unfortunately the 2022 race was canceled due to Ian. “We are so happy Tom is returning for this year’s race,” says Diane Cortese, Race Committee Co-Chair. “It’s been an absolute pleasure to follow his progress over the years and connect with his infectious energy.”
Says Tom, “I’m looking forward to a fun morning and getting back on the island with all the other runners and good folks,” continues Tom. “I’ve been receiving the FISH newsletter and what you, your staff, and your volunteers have accomplished is beyond describing in words. What a blessing FISH has been to so many people in desperate need of help.”
Tom began training and racing after the loss of his 50-year partner Barbara. For the last several years, Tom began powerwalking all of his races ‘to save his knees for tennis’. Says Tom, “I have been proudly participating in the FISH 10K since 2012, and look forward to this year in support of FISH and their hurricane recovery efforts in particular.”
The 15th annual road race is scheduled for Sat., Dec. 2, 2023 beginning at 7:30 a.m. The race is offered as an in-person event, with an option to participate virtually. Held as a major fundraising event for FISH, sponsorships and participant fees support the organization’s mission of enriching the lives of all people in Sanibel and Captiva Islands as neighbors helping neighbors with social services, education and assistance.
This year FISH added a 5K to race day activities, followed by a kids’ run and family day hosted by and in partnership with the Sanibel Recreation Center. Runner registration is currently open on the RunSignUp platform, runsignup.com/Race/FL/Sanibel/10K5KRace4FISH.
This year’s race marks the first in-person event in recent years. In 2020-2021 the organization offered a virtual only race due to COVID and canceled the 2022 event due to Hurricane Ian.