Get Your Mutt Movin' at Payne Park

Things To Do

There is hardly ever a reason to not get outside and exercise, especially in the Sunshine State. However, if one was ever looking for a good reason to get out of the house, then look no further than the 4th annual Get Your Mutt Movin’ 5k Fun Run, Walk and Festival, scheduled for this Saturday, February 24 at Payne Park. The event, which is put on by Satchel’s Last Resort Animal Rescue and Sanctuary along with Sarasota City YMCA, began in 2021 in the YMCA’s parking lot as part of an effort to raise awareness for both organizations. In the last three years, the event has grown significantly from just a few vendors in the YMCA parking lot to a full-blown festival featuring a 5K fun run, a choose-your-distance walk and even a one-hour Zumba session.

“Our goal is to make it the absolute best road race and walk for people to participate in. It’s got a run, it’s got a walk, we have a vendor market and we always have some food trucks people can visit and different activities for them to take part in,” says Anne Middleton, the fundraiser co-chair and lead of Get Your Mutt Movin’. “This year we have Zumba and a dog training demonstration as well. We just try to make it a really fun time for people and elevate the presence of Satchel's Last resort which is a last chance rescue. We take animals that other area rescues will not take due to medical, behavioral or age issues and then we rehabilitate and rehome them or in some cases, they stay with us forever if we can’t find a home for them. We commit to them for life.”

Proceeds from the event also go to underserved parts of the area’s human population, with half of the money being directed toward scholarships for swimming lessons in children’s camps. “Yes, this event raises money, but it’s also about raising awareness for our organizations to generate more involvement. The YMCA is more than just a health facility. It really is a community service where people congregate for social wellness, physical wellness and safety.”

Saturday, February 24, 5K starts at 8:30am, Festival runs from 9am-1pm, Payne Park, 210 Adams Lane, Sarasota.

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