Today, Mote Marine Laboratory’s 38th Annual Run for the Turtles hosted nearly 1,000 runners, both on Siesta Key Beach for the 1-mile fun run and Manasota Track Club-sanctioned 5k, and across the globe with the virtual run. All three run types brought a variety of participants.

The 38th Annual Run for the Turtles was one of the most successful in the history of the event. While the final amount is still being tallied, approximately $45,000 was raised for Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation & Research Program (STCRP)! This annual event provides major support for STCRP, which conducts daily surveys of 35-mile of beach during turtle nesting season, as well as tags and satellite-tracks turtles.

“Run for the Turtles is the longest-standing fundraiser for Mote; we have been monitoring and protecting endangered sea turtles along local beaches for 42 years, and the Run raises thousands of dollars each year for this important service,” said Dr. Jake Lasala, Mote’s Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program Manager.

In 2023, STCRP had 4,483 nests in the 35-mile stretch of beach that the program monitors. Learn more about the program at

“Conservation and research are at the core of Mote’s mission. As an independent, nonprofit research institution, we can not continue to do the vital work we do without the support of each and every one of you. Thank you for your support,” said Lasala.

Sea turtle nesting season kicks off in southwest Florida May 1 and runs through October 31. On nesting beaches, light from waterfront properties can disorient nesting female turtles and their young, which emerge at night and use dim natural light to find the sea. Also, beach furniture, trash and other obstacles can impede sea turtles and their young.

Thanks to this years partners and sponsors: Salt Life; Whiting – Turner/Willis A Smith Construction; Boat Guys; Shutts & Bowen LLP; Koala Tee; Manasota Track Club; Morton’s Gourmet Market; Peak Performance Catering – Zildjian Catering; and Run with Purpose Nutrition.

1 mile fun run:
Top Overall Male – Peter PJ Cullin
Top Overall Female – Riley Babcock

Manasota Track Club sanctioned 5k:

Top Overall:
Male – Alex Milne
Female – Kylie Davis
Top Master:
Male – Eric Meyer
Female – Heather Butcher
Top Grandmaster:
Male – Dave Ochsendorf
Female – Rachel Chambers
Top Senior Grandmaster:
Male – Danny Withers
Female – Donna Karasic

Mark your calendars for the 39th Annual Run for the Turtles on April 5, 2024.