Distance and dates will no longer be a hurdle to participate in the South Carolina Aquarium’s Turtle Trek 5K as it takes on a new, virtual format. Whether participants run through their neighborhood, in a local park or even on a treadmill, they can still support the rescue, rehabilitation and release of sea turtles. Anyone, anywhere can participate by choosing their own route, their own starting time and their own pace.
The Turtle Trek 5K, typically held on a fall date at Isle of Palms County Park, will now offer participants the option to run during a one-week span. The 5K Remote Run and Kid’s Remote Run can occur anywhere at any time during the week of October 3 – 10.
All proceeds from the Turtle Trek 5K support the continuation of the rehabilitative care provided in the Sea Turtle Care Center, a pillar of the South Carolina Aquarium’s conservation mission. To help ensure that sea turtles have a future in our oceans, the Care Center aids sick and injured sea turtles in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. For the past 20 years, the Aquarium has treated turtles suffering from bacterial and fungal infections, shock from exposure to cold temperatures, injury from boat strikes and shark bites and ingestion of plastic from the ocean. All four species of sea turtle found in South Carolina’s waters, the loggerhead, leatherback, Kemp’s ridley and the green, are threatened or endangered and all have been rehabilitated at the South Carolina Aquarium.
To date, the South Carolina Aquarium has rehabilitated and released more than 300 sea turtles back into their natural habitats. With the support of the Turtle Trek 5K, those efforts can continue to sustain these species into the next century and beyond.
Registration for the run is currently open and participants are encouraged to sign up before September 3 in order to receive their race t-shirts in time for race week. New this year, registered runners will be sent a digital toolkit that will allow them to “go the extra mile” by fundraising for their favorite sea turtle patient! The toolkit will spotlight three beloved patients for runners to champion and includes graphics, videos and more to share across their social media platforms. All remote runners are encouraged to share their pictures and race time using #turtletrek.
Learn more and register to run at SCAquarium.org/TurtleTrek.