5 Fun Races Near Sanibel and Captiva

The locals of Sanibel and Captiva Islands often get together for some sports. Whether you’re into yoga, racing and running, or pickleball, the island has something for you.

From school runs for ages 5-12 to epic and athletic events for adults, there’s a whole lot of fun to be had in the area if you love to race. The races also manage to span the entire year. We cover our top five favorite races near Sanibel and Captiva Islands for you to partake in, whether you want to test your athletic mettle or just have an uproariously good time with the kids.

runners running in race

Race 4 F.I.S.H.

In October, Sanibel and Captiva locals gather together for the rewarding Race 4 F.I.S.H. The event is divided into two races. The first is a kids rally, a casual and non-competitive event for ages 2-16. The second is a 10K for ages 18+ (though 15-16 may participate upon special request).

The race is in support of F.I.S.H., a local non-profit under the banner of “Neighbors Helping Neighbors.” The group engages the community with food and school supply drives, cash donation initiatives, and food pantry programs.

The 11th Annual 2019 10K Race 4 F.I.S.H., October 26, 2019, at the Sanibel Community House.

Registration is required. You can obtain further details and register on the official website.

Tunnel to Towers

The 2019 Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk in Fort Myers, FL is a 3.1 mile run along the coast of the city.

It is open to all ages. Registration is available, but you can also register the day of the event at Lakes Regional Park – 7330 Gladiolus Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33908. Registration will open from 7:15 a.m. to 7:50 a.m. that morning.

The event is based on Stephen Siller, a Sept 11th New York City firefighter who died on a tragic day. The program supports all of those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, through the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

It is a rewarding race that bends to how you want it, whether that’s an epic trek across three miles of Fort Myers Beach or a casual and family-friendly walk with those you love.

The Captiva Crab Race

On a slightly different note, we have the Captiva Crab Race. This perfectly titled event series is exactly as it sounds. Right in Captiva, watch as crabs pull out their best and race!

The Crow’s Nest Bar & Grille hosts the crab race every Monday and Thursday night.

Hermit Crab Races on Captiva Island, FL

There are two rallies- a family-oriented run at 6 p.m. and a more rambunctious run at 9 p.m. Both include hermit crabs racing across a tabletop to the amusement and joy of the local patrons. There’s play-by-play by the official “Crab Commissioner” and a little table betting. If your selected crab clears the finish line first, you get a prize.

It’s a little different, a little bizarre, and certainly not for everyone. But it makes for a good story. The crow’s nest is at 15951 Captiva Dr, Captiva.

72 Hours to Key West

The 72 Hours to Key West is the defining race for Sanibel and Captiva. This is a serious-minded journey to none other than Key West, the furthest southern point of the United States (Hawaii notwithstanding).

About 75 to 100 bicyclists prep for the journey to the island from Fort Myers Beach. It is a 280 mile, 3day bike ride to the destination.

To participate you must be at least 18 years of age. Not all will find the journey appealing, but many still show up for the launch to support the locals who decide to make the trek.

Proceeds of the event will go to the Tiny Hands Foundation and Starting Right Now organization. The 2019 race is slated for November 14.


The Children’s Network of Southwest Florida has penciled in their very first 5K in support of Thrive Community Church in southwest Florida. This 5K race will launch off at Florida Gulf Coast University, located at 10501 FGCU Boulevard South. The event is on October 12 at 7 a.m. and registration will remain open up to 15 minutes before the race.

Captiva and Sanibel both love their races. Whether it’s a Sanibel 5K for a good cause or a hermit crab rally, the islands love to feel the rush of a good race.