Just take a look at the gorgeous sunrise photos from last year’s outdoor event, the Amelia Island Turtle Trot, a 5K race (or walk) benefitting sea turtles. (Also see updated sea turtle news, nest count at the end of this article).
Rise early, enjoy a beach sunrise and take off when you hear the canon shot that starts the 5K sprint (or walk) at 7:30 am. The 11th annual Amelia Island Turtle Trot is Monday, Sept. 3, 2012. The start and finish line is near Sandy Bottoms beach bar and restaurant at Fernandina’s Main Beach Park. The Turtle Trot attracts a big turnout with runners of all ages and abilities. Having run in this event for the past three years, I can say firsthand that it’s a rewarding experience.
Not only for a good cause, sea turtle conservation efforts, it’s a feel-good event with its invigorating run (or walk) in the hard packed sand at low tide, just after day’s dawn at the beautiful seaside setting of Amelia Island. This is a wonderful, family-friendly outing, and it’s just plain fun!
The Turtle Trot is a timed 5K race, organized by Amelia Island Runners. This year the event will utilize disposable Champion Chips worn on running shoes that don’t need to be returned after the race (the chip is in the race packet all participants receive).
Folks can pre-register online for the 2012 Amelia Island Turtle Trot until September 1, 2012 (cost $20). You can still register on race day at Main Beach Park between 6:30 am and 7:15 am for $25. You get a bunch for your donation — healthy exercise, a really cool T-shirt with sea turtle artwork by local artist Sandra Baker-Hinton (be sure to pre-register online to be guaranteed the T-shirt). Plus, the first 500 finishers of the 5K also get a blue coffee mug this year! See more information about the Turtle Trot and online registration with a credit card at www.AmeliaIslandRunners.com.
KID’S FUN RUN
After the 5K competition and walk is a kid-friendly challenge, so this is a family event well worth attending. After the kids cheer on parents, they get their turn to participate in either a half mile or one mile “Kid’s Fun Run,” that begins at 8:30 a.m. The donation for the Kid’s Run is $10 per child. Kids’ run registration on race day will continue to around 8:15 a.m. (Youth runners who are pre-registered will get a t-shirt plus all finishers earn a ribbon.)
So make some plans for time outside at the seaside on Amelia Island this Labor Day holiday, and spread the word — tell some friends to join in as well. Run or walk for the turtles and have fun! Hope all have a great holiday weekend!
Managed by the Amelia Island Runners Club, the Turtle Trot fundraising event benefits local sea turtle conservation efforts of the Amelia Island Sea Turtle Watch, Fort Clinch sea turtle patrols, and Amelia Island Runners.
*** 218 Nests Marked on Amelia Island (data through August 14, 2012) ***
2012 has been a fantastic sea turtle nesting season here on Amelia Island and all over the state! Sea turtle nests are breaking records in 2012 around Florida. The 2012 sea turtle nesting season has the highest number of recorded sea turtle nests in at least two decades. Let’s hope this positive news becomes a continuing trend in the future, thanks to the efforts of volunteers all over the state of Florida. The bonanza of nests this year appears to correlate with sea turtle conservation efforts put in place 20 years ago. (It takes 20 years or so for female sea turtles to become mature enough to produce eggs.)
WATCH SEA TURTLE RELEASE:
A rehabbed sea turtle will be released back to sea on Saturday, September 1, 2012 at Main Beach Park at 11:30 am. The release is by the Georgia Sea Turtle Center (and Wild Amelia Nature Festival). Start the holiday weekend on Amelia Island by coming to watch and bid farewell to a turtle going back home to the sea.
WATCH A SEA TURTLE NEST EXCAVATION:
Local residents and Amelia Island visitors can learn more about the sea turtles by attending a nest excavation in the early evening at the beach (now happening in August, September and early October). Amelia Island Sea Turtle Watch volunteers dig up nests (after they’ve hatched) to record each nest’s success, count the shards (empty eggshells) and unfertilized eggs, and sometimes uncover and rescue baby sea turtle hatchlings who didn’t make it out of the nest. The hatchlings are then released to the sea. Finding this buried treasure – live baby turtles in the nest – is indeed a highlight of these digs and a real crowd pleaser. Visit www.AmeliaIslandSeaTurtleWatch.com and click “Excavation” tab to see schedule of evening nest excavations on Amelia Island.