Got to Run With It!

Help the Manatees – Join the Michigan Race

For further information, contact:

Janice Nearing
Director of Public Relations
Save the Manatee Club
Phone: (407) 539-0990

Lesley Argiri
L’Anse Creuse High School
37855 De Prez Ct.
Harrison Twp., MI 48045
Phone: (586) 783-6729

For Immediate Release: April 27, 2018

Note: High resolution jpegs (300 dpi) of last year’s race and a Florida manatee, are available upon request.

2017 Manatee 5K Race Participants
Michigan participants in the 2017 Manatee 5K Race.

Come to scenic Lake St. Clair Metropark in Harrison Township, Michigan on May 19th for the 15th annual Save the Manatee 5K! Participants in the race will be contributing to the ongoing conservation and education efforts of Save the Manatee Club, a nonprofit conservation organization based in Florida and established in 1981 by singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett and former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham.

Race directors Lesley Argiri and her husband Brian McDonald, teachers at L’Anse Creuse public schools in Harrison Township, Michigan, created the 5K, 2-Mile Walk, and Mini-Manatee-Mile, so that people of all ages have the option to run it, walk it, casually jog it, or just be there for the fun of it. The 5K attracts over 1,200 people each year in the physical race with hundreds more taking part in the Virtual Run, which drew interest last year from all 50 U.S. states and 13 foreign countries.

“We support Save the Manatee Club’s mission to protect the manatees and the waterways where they live,” said Lesley. “The Michigan race not only educates our community about the plight of the manatee, but many more people are made aware outside of our state and around the world with the addition of the Virtual Run.”

Now everyone, not just Michiganders, can join the race by doing a Virtual 5K on a date, time, and place that’s convenient. Choose the activity, too. Run, swim, kayak, cycle, stroll along, or rollerblade on a favorite course or trail, all in support of manatees.

Participants in the May 19th race in Michigan or in the Virtual 5K receive a race packet with a unique t-shirt and manatee race bib as well as a newly-designed finisher medal featuring two manatees. All runners and walkers at the Michigan 5K are scored (chip timed) using the Chrono Track B-Tag. There are age group awards for the 5K run only with finishing medals for all events. Door prizes will be drawn from the bib numbers. This is a dog-friendly event for anyone wishing to bring along the family pooch. Note there is a $10 park entrance fee that is not included in the race entries.

After the race, photos are available for all participants. Also, Save the Manatee Club’s Manatee Research and Multimedia Specialist, Cora Berchem, will have an education booth set up where participants can gather information on manatees and Adopt-A-Manatee right on the spot.

“It’s amazing to think the 15th Annual Save the Manatee 5K race is coming up, all made possible by Lesley and Brian’s tireless, devoted work and support these many years for the Club and the manatees,” said Patrick Rose, Executive Director of Save the Manatee Club. “To date, this special event has raised $175,000 for manatee education and conservation projects.”

Sign up family members and join friends for the Save the Manatee 5K or Virtual Run! To get more information and to register, go to Questions? Email Lesley Argiri at Join the Club on Facebook to get updates on the states and countries that have the most participants.

Learn more about manatees and Save the Manatee Club’s conservation work.