JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga., March 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The weather will be cooler and the event lineup has been tweaked a bit, but the fun at the center of a heartwarming tradition that draws road runners and turtle fans of all ages to Jekyll Island remains the same.
The 17th annual Georgia Sea Turtle Center Turtle Crawl road races, a major fundraiser for Jekyll Island's internationally acclaimed Georgia Sea Turtle Center, is set to unfold March 9 – two months earlier than its usual staging in mid-May, when the spring heat in the South starts to become a factor.
And that's not the only change to this year's event. A one-mile Fun Run right on the beach has been added, providing a great opportunity for family members to race (or walk) together while taking in the beautiful Jekyll Island scenery.
The Turtle Crawl once again will feature both a 10K and a 5K road race on a flat course along Jekyll Island's picturesque Atlantic shore. The 10K also serves as a qualifier for the 50th Peachtree Road Race this July 4 in Atlanta.
The two triathlons (sprint and international) that for years were regular fixtures during Turtle Crawl weekend have been eliminated. The increasing cost of producing the triathlons, combined with declining participation by the athletes, was preventing organizers from efficiently and effectively raising money for the GSTC, officials said. In place of the triathlons, the one-mile Fun Run was added, to encourage Turtle Crawl fans to make this a family affair.
"The new combination of Turtle Crawl races for 2019 is perfect for the whole family to enjoy, either as participants or just to come out and show their support at this beloved event," said Nancy Kring-Rowan, the director of events for the Jekyll Island Authority. "The refreshed format enhances the Turtle Crawl experience for everyone and provides a great way for runners and turtle lovers of all ages and abilities to get behind the mission of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center."
Opened in 2007, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center is a working wildlife hospital. It features a rehabilitation pavilion where guests can observe treatments as they happen and learn about sea turtles and the other wildlife patients the GSTC takes in. There's also an interactive exhibit gallery that immerses guests in the fascinating journey of the sea turtle. Since its opening, the center has treated and released more than 3,000 animals, thanks in large part to its generous supporters.
All three Turtle Crawl races March 9 start from Great Dunes Beach Park, near the Jekyll Island Convention Center. The first race, the 10K, begins at 8 a.m.
Also new this year, each race registration entitles the participant – including Fun Run entrants – to free admission to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center during race weekend (March 8-10), so runners can see firsthand the patients and the life-saving medical work they are supporting.
For more information on registration, visit jekyllisland.com/turtlecrawl.
SOURCE Jekyll Island Authority