One of the Independence Day traditions on Sapelo Island is the Sapelo Island Lighthouse 5K Run. The race course goes from the Nannygoat Beach Parking Lot to the iconic Sapeolo Lighthouse and back to the beach.
GCE LTER technicians dominated the field of 30 participants (28 humans and 2 dogs). Dontrece Smith jumped out front early and built a 100-m lead by the turn onto Lighthouse Road. His labmate, Alyssa Peterson, started out conservatively, running an even pace throughout the race and steadily working her way up through the field. She passed Dontrece by the halfway mark and kept widening her margin of victory over the second half of the course.
Special recognition goes to the members of the University of Florida’s GCE LTER research team, led by graduate student Sinead Crotty. After finishing the race, they all went back to work on their field experiments in the marsh. While most of the runners were recuperating on a couch or lounge chair, Sinead’s crew was performing physical labor in mid-day heat, all in the name of science. That’s dedication!