Scully, the seabird mascot for the 2017 World Rowing Championships, flew past the competition and won Mote Marine Laboratory’s mascot race Tuesday, March 7, on Siesta Beach.

The race helped raise awareness for Mote’s 31st Annual Run for the Turtles, a 5K/1-mile race scheduled for April 1 on Siesta Key. As Mote’s longest-standing fundraiser, it raises support for Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program, which coordinates conservation of endangered sea turtles along 35 miles of Sarasota County beaches.Tuesday’s mascot race drew eight colorful contenders:

  • Cat Depot: Petunia the Rescue Cat
  • Chick-Fil-A, Fruitville Road: Chick-Fil-A Cow
  • New Balance: New Balance Newbie
  • University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee: Rocky D. Bull
  • 2017 World Rowing Championships (Sept. 23-Oct. 1): Scully
  • Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium: Gilly the Shark
  • Mote: Ollie the Otter
  • Mote: Shelley the Sea Turtle

At the starting line, the mascots stretched, struck a few poses and got into the sprinting spirit. Then they took off, running a short race down a beautiful stretch of Siesta Beach sand.

The race was close, and Scully won by a wing. Clearly this bird gave it his best – in the spirit of his favorite quote:

“I’ve got a theory that if you give 100 percent all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end.” – Larry Bird

After the race, Scully celebrated with Mote mascot Shelley the Sea Turtle. Shelley is no stranger to working hard for a good cause. In fact, Mote’s Sea Turtle Patrol — a group of scientists, interns and volunteers — monitors sea turtle nesting every day of nesting season, May 1-Oct. 31, on Longboat Key through Venice.

About Mote’s 31st Annual Run for the Turtles
This year’s Run for the Turtles will take place on beautiful Siesta Key Beach on April 1, 2017 – no April Fools here! The 1-mile Fun Run or Walk begins at 7:30 a.m. and the 5K Manasota Track Club-sanctioned Run begins at 8 a.m. People of all ages can register now.

  • For more information on the Run, contact Sam Byrd, Race Director at: 941-388-4441 ext. 426 or
  • For information on event sponsorship please contact Kate Knepper at: 941-388-4441, ext. 393 or
  • Not running but interested in supporting sea turtles? Donate by texting “Mote” to 243725 (BIDPAL) to contribute.

To amplify the Run’s support for marine science and conservation, Mote has joined forces with Positive Tracks, which helps young people get active and give back through the organization’s U23 Challenges Program. As the Run approaches, Positive Tracks will help youths organize their fundraising efforts with tools and consultation, and they will double every dollar raised by Run team members up to $23. Team Captains’ dollars will be doubled up to $230. In this way, Positive Tracks is doubling the impact of youth fundraising associated with Run for the Turtles.

Mote thanks its Run partners New Balance and Fleet Feet Sports for hosting Run packet pick-ups. Check in with them for the latest running gear and fitness news to prepare to hit the beach on April 1.