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On-island run club designed to help members reach goals

August 31, 2018
By TIFFANY REPECKI ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

A new running club is forming on the islands to help members train for upcoming races - or simply provide a group to run with - and the 10th annual 10K Race 4 F.I.S.H. will be its first focus.

Starting on Sept. 7, the club will meet every Friday at 8:30 a.m. at the Sanibel Recreation Center. People of all abilities and paces are welcome to join, from an experienced marathoner to a first-time beginner. The group workouts will aim to help members increase both their endurance and speed.

The club is the brainchild of recent Sanibel transplant, Eva George.

Article Photos

Sanibel resident Eva George finishing a half-marathon with daughter Evelyn, nearly 2 years old.

"I got into running a long time ago, probably in high school," she said, adding that she really fell in love after college. "I was working a really high stress job, and it was a way to clear my brain."

"It sort of became a way of life for me," George added.

When she and her family relocated to the island nearly two months ago, George looked for a new running club to join. Back in Gainesville, she had been a member of one for nearly a decade.

"I really enjoyed that running club," she said.

George was surprised to discover that there is no official island club.

"I was just kind of shocked because Sanibel is such an active place," she said.

"There's people who run here, there's people who want to train for things," George added.

Outside of enjoying it, running has enabled her to explore new areas she has visited or moved to.

"This is Sanibel, this is a running paradise. There's bike paths everywhere," she said. "It's such a beautiful place to get out and explore on foot."

So with help from the Sanibel Recreation Center, George is starting a club.

"We're going to start with one practice a week," she said, adding that if there is more interest in the future, then the club can decide whether to increase the number of available sessions each week.

Members will be broken up into pace groups, so casual or beginner runners are not trying to keep stride with experienced or regular race participants. There will also be cards to track weekly distance goals.

"I'm going to try to tailor it to kind of what people are looking for for themselves," George said. "The idea of the group is to help people achieve their goals - I don't want people to get scared away."

She estimated that the weekly outdoor runs will last about 45 minutes to an hour.

For members who are interested, the 10K Race 4 F.I.S.H. will be the first event to train for.

"Usually you want to give yourself six weeks to train for a 10K," George said.

The Race 4 F.I.S.H. will take place on Oct. 27 at 7:30 a.m. at The Community House on Sanibel. Proceeds from the event benefit F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva, with donations of unexpired and unopened non-perishable food items, paper products and toiletries accepted on race day for its food pantry.

She emphasized that the main message is the club is for everyone.

"They might be intimidated by running, they might not know where to start," George said, noting that the club can help. "You start with people on the same level and have other people motivating you."

"Hopefully, anyone will feel welcome to join," she added.

Down the road, members can train for other races or just enjoy the camaraderie.

"People will have their own things they're training for - we can sort of train as a team together," George said. "Or it's just a nice group to run with on a weekly basis."

For those interested in joining who may be new to running, George suggested wearing cool clothes so as not to overheat and good, comfortable running shoes. They might also want a hat or sunglasses.

She plans to provide refreshments.

Because the club is being promoted through the center, participation is free for Sanibel Recreation Center members, but non-members will be required to purchase a day pass. Andrea Miller, recreation director with the center, explained that the cost of a day pass for an individual island resident is $7.

"(It is) good for the entire day for facility amenities and group fitness classes," she noted.

Miller also commented on the formation of the club.

"We are excited to offer the new run club as another opportunity to help our community stay Fit4Life," she said.

For more information about the club, contact Eva George at

For more on the Sanibel Recreation Center, call 239-472-0345 or visit

The Sanibel Recreation Center is at 3880 Sanibel Captiva Road.



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