Organizers of the 10K Race 4 FISH are hoping that forecasters are as generous with perfect weather on Saturday as they were last year.
"The FISH 10K is expected to attract more than 400 runners this year - last October's race saw perfect weather and the race had 385 runners," said Friends In Service Here (FISH) board VP Blanaid Colley. "We hear that this year's forecast predicts ideal running conditions again for Oct. 13."
The entire island community throws out the red carpet to welcome runners, their families and friends and casual visitors for the 4th annual event that is a major fundraising effort for FISH. More than 40 island businesses and organizations are financially sponsoring the race
Registrations are still being taken for Saturday's race, which starts at 7:30 a.m. at the Sanibel Community House on Periwinkle Way.
The entry fee is $40 on race day, but anyone who can manage to sign up today, Oct. 12, there's a $5 discount.
The more than 400 runners, about 75 percent of whom live off island, will snake their way around a marked 6.2-mile course on the island to finish where they started - at the Community House.
The route heads east on Periwinkle to Casa Ybel Road for the first mile, picks up West Gulf Drive and turns north on Tarpon Bay Road after three miles. The course takes a turn on Island Inn Road before returning to Periwinkle at Bailey's Center for the final leg to the finish line.
A trade fair accompanies the race aimed at the families and friends as well as the runners. Refreshment tables and water stations are set up around the course for runners.
"The 10K really does three things for FISH," said board president Bill Fellows. "First, it helps raise much-needed funds to help keep the food pantry stocked; allows us to continue our back-pack program for Sanibel; and helps fund our Helping Hands emergency financial assistance program.
"The race helps increase awareness about FISH and third, it is great for the community. This event brings a great atmosphere and people to the island."
In addition to the food pantry, FISH serves those on Sanibel or Captiva that are in need by providing free services like transportation, meal delivery, health equipment and emergency financial assistance. FISH served more than 750 people last year with its army of 200 volunteers.