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Embark on a socially distant outdoor adventure while getting in a great workout with Mote Marine Laboratory's 34th annual Run for the Turtles.

Normally, this run benefitting Sarasota's sea turtles is hosted on Siesta Key beach, but this year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's gone virtual, meaning you can run anytime, anywhere. Join anytime between now and Thursday, Sept. 10, track your progress with Mote and share your 5K or mile-long fun run experience with other participants on social media. Whether you're a beginner or seasoned pro, this is the perfect opportunity to tie up your laces and get running.

Where

While usually held on Siesta Key beach, the virtual option means you can run anywhere you desire. Your neighborhood might suffice, but if you are looking for a change in scenery, try out local spots like the Ringling bridge, Bayfront Park or the Legacy Trail, a 10-plus-mile trail stretching from south Sarasota to Venice. Consider running early in the morning, or catch a sunset view later in the day.

When

Runners can register from now until Thursday, Sept. 10, and run any time and anywhere. Registration is $35 for adults and $25 for children 13 and under. Runners will receive a T-shirt in the mail, which they can pose in on Facebook or Instagram while tagging #RunfortheTurtles2020.

What to Do

Once registered on Mote's website, participants will track their progress through a platform called RunSignup. There are also three contests participants can enter to win by tagging Mote on social media, including the "Shell-ebrity Snapshot," the "Best Team Theme" or "Turtle-y Actionable Steps" to save sea turtles. Winners in each category will receive a special prize.

Sea turtle nesting season runs from March to October along Southwest Florida's coast.

Why Run for Turtles?

Sea turtle nesting season runs from March to October, and because Sarasota County beaches have experienced a busy season this year, Mote researchers need your help. Money raised by the run will go toward Mote's Sea Turtle Conservation & Research Program, which helps monitor, study and protect sea turtles along the 35 miles of Sarasota County's beaches. Participating in the run and following other turtle-friendly tips will allow this endangered species to continue to thrive in our town.

To register for the 34th annual Run for the Turtles, click here. For more information on Mote's sea turtles, click here or call (941) 388-4441.

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