By Danielle Dodder
Beep! Beep! A new runner’s club is starting up on Marco, just in time for area running aficionados to join the race across the Jolley Bridge on its November 19th formal opening.
Scott and Lisa Hicks are local residents and avid runners whose favored route tracks from ‘Old Marco’ along Bald Eagle to Collier, then towards South Beach. By forming a club, the couple hopes to create a social, encouraging environment where fellow runners can meet. “It’s also a great way to promote fitness on the island,” adds Scott Hicks.
The club’s first meeting was held on Tuesday, Sept. 20. Hicks welcomes runners at any level to participate, from beginners to advanced. “You do not have to run races to be part of the club.” However, Hicks hopes the Marco Island Road Runners will have a good turnout at the Jolley Be Good 5K Run that will mark the official opening of the new bridge.
The 5K itself has evolved to include a bridge dedication ceremony and the unveiling of a plaque in remembrance to former councilman Mike Minozzi, whose tireless work and vision for the bridge brought about the funding for it.
Cash prizes will be awarded in six categories after the race and all participants receive a t-shirt and goodie bag. Students to seniors can participate in the race, and music, water and snacks will be provided at Veterans Park.
Traffic will revert to the northbound lanes of the bridge for the run and ceremonies, which are expected to conclude by 9:30 am.
City of Marco Island special events coordinator, Debbie McCabe, adds that all proceeds from the run will go towards funding recreation programs and events, including a new initiative with the Humane Society. “There are tons of dog lovers on the island,” says McCabe, who plans to bring Humane Society trainers to the park to provide dog training as a first step in what she hopes will be an ongoing partnership.
McCabe is seeking sponsors for the Jolley B Good event. The Marco Island Marriott, Affordable Landscaping, and the Gene and Mary Sarazen Foundation, among others, have signed on so far.
5K registration with an early discount begins on Oct. 10. To register for the race, visit www.gcrunner.org.
For questions or information contact Debbie McCabe at 239-642-0575.
Find Marco Island Road Runners on Facebook.