Ready, set….it’s time for Turtle Krawl
Helping Brevard County’s sea turtles after Hurricane Dorian is as easy as lacing up your running shoes and joining the Sea Turtle Preservation Society for this year’s Turtle Krawl on Sept. 14.
This year STPS will donate $25,000 of the race proceeds to continue its support of the Sea Turtle Healing Center at Brevard Zoo. The zoo, in partnership with STPS, opened the 2,400-foot facility in April 2014 to rehabilitate sick and injured sea turtles. Before the facility opened, STPS volunteers transported sea turtles in need from our local beaches to rehabilitation facilities across the state.
“Partnerships among nonprofits allow each to share their valuable volunteers, ideas and support,” said Roger Pszonowsky, STPS chairperson. “They each are better able to fulfill their missions when they work together.”
The sea turtle rehabilitation facility at the Brevard Zoo serves as a valuable resource located on Florida’s East Coast among some of the most significant sea turtle nesting beaches in the world. STPS has supported the facility and its mission through donated funds and volunteer hours since it opened.
The third in the 2019 Space Coast Runner of the Year series, the family friendly run/walk also is the largest fundraiser of the year for the Sea Turtle Preservation Society.
All race proceeds benefit the Sea Turtle Preservation Society’s mission to help sea turtles survive. In addition to supporting the Brevard Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center, STPS has been able to fund other programs and activities, including rescue and transport of injured sea turtles, nesting surveys, night walks and other educational outreach programs as well as satellite transmitters for the UCF marine turtle research program. Funds come from race registration fees and sponsorships from local businesses.
Last year, more than 3,000 people participated, with 2,256 live runners and walkers and the rest taking part in a virtual race in which runners complete the 5K distance at their convenience.
“Turtle Krawl is a fun, family event where the community comes together to support one of our most treasured wildlife resources. All proceeds go to support the nonprofit’s many community activities, programs, preservation and educational outreach that help protect our sea turtles,” said race committee member, Silvia Bryan.
The race, which begins at 7:30 a.m., goes off rain or shine from Nance Park where the course also ends.
The first 2,300 registrants receive T-shirts with artwork by Indialantic artist, James M. Nemnich. The race awards sea turtle-shaped medals to the first three winners in each category along with Masters, Grandmasters, Great-Grandmasters, and the top five competitive walkers. Area restaurants will donate breakfast food for participants near the finish line. A DJ will provide music.
Donna Lee Crawford, who worked at the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department, created the event in 2001 as a 10K Bike/Skate and 5K Run/Walk held in the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. At its height it attracted some 300 racers. When Crawford left Parks and Rec, the race ended in 2009, but a year later the STPS board voted to resurrect the Turtle Krawl relocating to Indialantic in 2010. The nonprofit hired Running Zone to provide course management and electronic timing. The race raised more than $8,000 and by 2012, 1,800 people registered, raising more than $34,000 for the STPS.
To register, visit www.turtlekrawl.com.