Run For The Turtles



Get your running shoes out of the closet and put them on for Mote Marine’s 29th Annual Run for the Turtles, a 5k and a 1-mile fun run supporting sea turtle research and conservation at Mote Marine Laboratory. The fundraiser supporting sea turtles will be held April 4 at Siesta Key Beach. Not only will the run support sea turtles, but also anyone 23 and under can create their own fundraisers to give an extra boost to the whole event. Youths can select to either work in a group or work individually, but don’t think they forgot about those older than 23. Adults may be included in a fundraising group as long as half of them are under 23. Another way to help is to donate to the youth fundraising teams. Every dollar counts.

Many kids have already started fundraisers to help Mote Marine. Brothers Tristan and Jasper can’t make it this year, but decided they’d do their own style of “run”. My brother, Tristan and I live in New Hampshire, and weren't able to travel down to Florida for Mote's Run For The Turtles this year. So, we collected pledges for ski "runs" in the snow. Two weekends ago, we skied all day long, 21 runs, and 31 miles covered, and we've raised $2,025 for Mote, which will be doubled by Positive Tracks," said Jasper Meyer, freshman in high school. Positive Tracks is a national youth organization that helps the youth get active and give back.

Positive Tracks and funding partner Gulf Coast Community Foundation are doubling dollars raised by the youth before and during the run to support Mote. Positive Tracks program provides tools for fundraising and help from local expert on fundraisers, according to spokesperson Chris Pfahler. “We've had a wonderful time working with both Mote and Gulf Coast Community Foundation in helping young people play an important role in Mote's Run For The Turtles this year,” Nini Meyer, founder and president of Positive Tracks.

“I have always loved going to Mote to see the exhibits, and I especially love seeing the sea turtles,” said Brooke Collins, a participant of the Collin fundraising team. “When I heard about the opportunity to raise money for the sea turtles, I wanted to do as much as I could to help.” Brooke and Grant Collins, 12 and 10, both love supporting Mote Marine and the turtles. They have raised $625 through their team page on Gulf Coast Gives and still have a few days left to raise more. “It has been incredible to help Mote and support the sea turtles that I love,” said Grant Collins, brother and teammate of Brooke.

Everyone who participates in the run will be supporting the endangered sea turtles, such as Kemp’s ridley turtles, which are rarely seen in the Sarasota County beaches. They nest in the daytime, unlike other sea turtles. Each year, Motes sea turtle conservation monitors 35 miles of Sarasota County beaches everyday of nesting season, May though October.  In 2014, Motes sea turtle conservation found a total of approximately 2,460 nests.

Turtle Run Basics

When: April 4. Registration begins 6:30 a.m. at the Siesta Key Gazebo, south of the pavilion. The 1-Mile Fun Run or Walk begins at 7:30 a.m. and the 5K Manasota Track Club-Sanctioned Run begins at 8 a.m.

Where: Siesta Key Public Beach, 948 Beach Road, Siesta Key

Register early online ( through March 30 or download the registration form to print.

Registration Fees: Adults: $30 through March 21; $35 from March 22 through race day. Children 10 & younger: $20 through March 21; $25 from March 22 through race day.

Contact Chris ( with any questions about Run registration or starting your youth-powered fundraiser. 

Sponsor the Run and help support sea turtle conservation and research.

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