Amelia Island Turtle Trot: Walk, Run, Have Fun

The whole family can have fun, walk or run for Amelia Island’s sea turtles. Turn out Sat., September 4, 2010, a Labor Day Weekend event.

Watercolor Painting, Sargassum Sea. Loggerhead Sea Turtle Hatchlings by Artist Sandra Baker-Hinton
Watercolor Painting, Sargassum Sea. Loggerhead Sea Turtle Hatchlings by Artist Sandra Baker-Hinton, Amelia SanJon Gallery, Fernandina Beach.

Turn out Saturday, September 4, 2010 to help support Amelia Island’s sea turtles.  The whole family can have fun, walk or run for these amazing sea creatures.   The Amelia Island Turtle Trot is organized by the Amelia Island Runners Club.

There’s something for everyone: adult walk 1.5 miles (non-competitive), kids 10 and under can run either a half mile or one mile, and runners can choose either a 5K or 10K run in Fernandina Beach, Florida. It’s a well-organized event, and not just for local folks. People come from neighboring Jacksonville and south Georgia to participate in the Turtle Trot.

Race day registration is accepted, so it’s not too late to help support Amelia Island’s sea turtles. Just get up early and head to Fernandina Beach’s Recreation Center at 2500 Atlantic Avenue (near Fort Clinch) to arrive between 6 to 7 am Saturday, September 4, 2010. (No registrations for Turtle Trot after 7 am, so don’t be late!).

Proceeds from the Turtle Trot help benefit the Amelia Island Sea Turtle Watch, turtle patrols in Fort Clinch, as well as Amelia Island Runners Club’s youth running programs.

Amelia Island Turtle Trot, Fernandina Rec Center is Race's Start & Finish
Amelia Island Turtle Trot, Fernandina Rec Center is Race's Start & Finish

The Amelia Island Turtle Trot Race, is an annual event Labor Day Weekend, organized by the Amelia Island Runners club. The run is a 5K/10K starting at 7:30 am on Saturday, September 4, 2010 at the Atlantic Rec Center, located at 2500 Atlantic Avenue in Fernandina Beach. The running courses are USATF certified. The “Walk” is non-competitive 1.5 mile distance that will begin sharply at 7:35 am, after the runners depart, followed by a half mile and 1-mile “Kid’s Fun Run” at 9 am.

KIDS FUN RUN FOR AGES 10 AND UNDER

The Kid’s Fun Run (ages 10 and under) is $10 (parents can run free, but must register their kids before the event on race day). All kids finishing the race will receive a ribbon, and parents are encouraged to run with their kids.

DRAWING FOR DOOR PRIZES

Runners can utilize the Rec Center’s showers after the race (but don’t forget to bring a towel). Save your bib number for door prizes to be awarded at the post-race awards ceremony, to be held in the Rec Center auditorium after the kid’s runs end. Prizes include overnight stays at Amelia Island’s Residence Inn or Hampton Inn Amelia Island. After the race, take the kids for a day at the beach in Fort Clinch State Park. A runner’s bib will gain you free entry into Fort Clinch State Park for the day on Saturday. Fort Clinch offers beautiful beachfront, hiking, biking trails, a fishing pier and more. Also happening Saturday, September 4 is Amelia Island SUNSPLASH, a free beach concert at Seaside Park featuring live bands and activities.

Amelia SanJon Art Gallery, Fernandina Beach, FL
Amelia SanJon Art Gallery, Fernandina Beach, FL

The Turtle Trot entry fee is $25 (for non-members of the Amelia Island Runners club). Runners will receive (while supplies last) a Turtle Trot T-shirt with original “environmental artwork” by Fernandina Beach artist and turtle volunteer, Sandra Baker-Hinton (her artwork is pictured). The original watercolor painting, Sargassum Sea, is for sale at Sandra’s art gallery, Amelia SanJon Gallery in downtown Fernandina.

Further detailed info about the Turtle Trot, including the running routes, online entry forms and more is available at www.AmeliaIslandRunners.com (see also info about discounted hotel rooms for participants in this event.)

A group of volunteers monitor sea turtle nests on Amelia Island. Visit their website, Amelia Island Sea Turtle Watch for details on marked nests and the schedule of upcoming nest excavations on Amelia Island. 2010 has been a banner year for sea turtle nests on Amelia Island, with 194 marked this season to date. Most of the nests are loggerheads, but there have also been a few green turtle nests and a leatherback nest this year on the island. Watching a sea turtle volunteer excavate a sea turtle nest is a wonderful learning experience for kids and adults — a great activity at the beach held in the evening during the latter part of sea turtle season. Take time to learn more about the amazing sea turtles.

AUDIO OPTION