10K Race Participant Completes 144th Race
For the second time in the history of the 10K Race, a change has been made to the format of the event. In 2008, severe thunderstorms forced the cancellation of the first ever 10K. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the format from an in-person to a virtual race. The virtual format, however, has not stopped many from registering and running on their own time.
Mr. Tom Kelly, a long-time 10K participant, completed his virtual running of the 10K with dear friends Melissa and Claudia. The 2020 race marks his 144th, just two short years after he ran the 2018 10K for his 100th. Tom considers Melissa and Claudia his extended family who have participated in the 10K in years past. “My teammates, many of whom have become part of my family, through their love and acts of kindness, were a major asset in helping me achieve this goal. I owe them a debt of gratitude I could never repay,” says Tom. As a token of his appreciation, Tom prepared his famous French toast post race.
“I’ve been doing the FISH 10K for several years because this wonderful organization helps so many people in need, including meals, financial assistance, holiday baskets, the food backpack program for children, and counseling. The majority of my races support causes that help people, including cancer research, Alzheimer’s awareness, environmental concerns, and honor flights for veterans. There are always people who need assistance, some desperately; and with the pandemic raging through our country, the need has become critical. Organizations like FISH are more vital than ever.”
Tom began training and racing in 2011, as a teammate on a very special triathlon team, Geared Up, following the loss of Barbara, his partner for fifty years. He was “lost and in desperate need to find something that would give his life purpose by helping him refocus his energy”. In addition to the Virtual 10K, Tom recently completed several races, is involved in a challenge to run 1000 miles in 20 weeks and plans to run the NY Marathon virtually. “It’s very strange that there will be no race season this year, but many clubs have been offering virtual formats. I’m happy the 10K chose to go virtual; this is a race I will continue doing,” notes Tom.
Runners can participate in the virtual 10K and log their time at any point from when they register through October 31st. Registration is open through the Fort Myers Track Club at ftmyerstrackclub.com. Cost is $40 for those who register before Oct. 20, prices increase after Oct. 20 at 11:59pm EDT. Participating runners will receive a dri-fit shirt, with the Hortoon 10K logo on the front, as well as a matching face covering which will be mailed to directly to them. New incentives this year include a refund of registration fee to a runner if they fundraise $250 or more (excluding processing fees). Additionally, for every five referrals a runner makes to others who sign up, they receive a $20 discount (half-off).
FISH provides services to anyone who lives, works or visits Sanibel and Captiva Islands as the only wrap-around social service agency provider. For additional information on the FISH organization and their programs and services, please contact Alicia Tighe Orgera, 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 virtual event, please contact Diane Cortese, Race Committee Chair, at Dianerc10@gmail.com.