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Keys Island Runners Kicking Off 2023 Event Season With Winter Fun Run

With almost 34,000 followers currently on its Instagram account, Keys Island Runners continues to thrive in the Florida Keys powerboating community. The grassroots group is heading into its fourth season and will kick off the year with its Strictly Yamaha-backed Winter Fun Run, February 24-25.

Daniel Garcia, III, the founder of the thriving grassroots group of passionate boaters, explained the plan for the two-day happening.

The owner of a beautiful 24-foot Progression V-bottom, Keys Island Runners founder Daniel Garcia, III, is expecting a solid turnout for the group’s first event of the year. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

“On February 24, we’ll do a short run from Black Water Sound Basin to Nest Key sandbar,” he said. “We’ll leave the basin around noon.

“The next day will be a fun run from Buttonwood Sound Basin to the Islamorada sandbar,” he continued. “That run will be a 22-mile sprint divided into two groups. The boats that plan to run 75 mph and above will leave at noon. The boats that plan to run below 75 mph will leave a few minutes later.”

Proceeds from this year’s event will go to Voices For Florida Keys Children, an “all-volunteer organization dedicated to the betterment of the lives of the abandoned, abused and neglected children in Monroe County (Fla.),” according to the nonprofit outfit’s website.

“If anyone would like to be a sponsor for the event, please visit the Keys Island Runners Instagram page and send me a message for the information,” Garcia said.

The two-day event is open to all-comers and has no size limit.

Earlier this month, Garcia and his girlfriend, Kristina DeSantis, enjoyed the Joey Gratton New Year’s Day Memorial Fun Run.

“Everyone is welcome,” Garcia said. “I never know what to expect. It’s usually a lot of boats. Some people come from out of state for their first time. The Florida Powerboat Club is in town that weekend as well, so some of them will do the run with us too. So there’s really no telling what to expect, but usually around 60 or more boats do the run.

“Some skip the adrenaline rush and just head straight to the sandbar to find a good spot on the beach,” he added. “There will be way more than 100 boats at the sandbar by the end of the day if the weather permits.”

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