Daniel Garcia, III, the 33-year-old founder of Keys Island Runners, grew up in Key West, Fla. He’s as local as local gets in the city at the end of the road— he even played free safety on the Key West High School varsity football team. Now, he works as a lineman for a local utility company. But his real passion is boating with old and new friends in the Keys, and the Instagram account he started two years ago under the Keys Island Runners handle has more than 20,000 followers.
Clearly, Garcia has tapped into pent-up demand for connection between powerboat lovers in the upper and lower Keys. And, from the sound of it, he’s just getting started.
The Florida Keys have been closed to nonresidents for months thanks to COVID-19. What has it been like living in Key West?
To be honest, it has been awesome. It feels more island-like and it’s not as cluttered as it usually is, though it sucks for a lot of people who work in the hotel, restaurant and bar business. But things have been flowing along. There’s a lot of needed construction work getting done on the highway. Restaurants are doing improvement work. Without the tourists, they’re able to get underground pipe work done on Duval Street.
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