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Kiwanis Club Fun Run draws big field, father/daughter winners

January 8, 2020
By NATHAN MAYBERG ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

More than 100 people took part in the 5K Kiwanis Club Fun Run Dec. 27 on Fort Myers Beach, doubling the average size of the annual contest.

Capt. John "Jay" Gray and his daughter Lisa Jones helped bring a family feeling to the race. Gray, who is 82, won the 80+ age bracket while Lisa, who is 57, won the 55+ group.

"She runs every day and I run every day," Gray said. "She is a mother of two, Fort Myers Beach resident who lives in Atlantic City in the summer. She lives right down the street from me."

Article Photos

More than 100 runners took part in the Fort Myers Beach Kiwanis Club Fun Run 5K Dec. 27.


Gray and Jones don't run together in the mornings because Gray is an early riser who is out of the house at 5:30 a.m. Jones starts her runs a little later. Gray averages three miles a day though he said he has increased his routine to about five miles a day to prepare for the Naples Half Marathon this month.

The duo also ride bikes together every morning after they go running.

Gray, who has won his respective eight times in the Fun Run, said he has no physical limitations and also enjoys sailing. "I'm a lucky guy. Nothing hurts."

That is quite a feat for anybody but especially for somebody like Gray, who battled off prostate cancer nine years ago. At this year's run, Gray said one of the runners thanked him for telling the crowd of runners two years ago at the awards ceremony to make sure they get a PSA test. That runner said he took a PSA test and ended up getting treated for prostate cancer.

"It was a real good turnout," said Fun Run organizer and Fort Myers Beach Kiwanis Club Secretary Paula McCarthy. She said the youngest contestant was 5 years old. Trophies and T-shirts were handed out to the runners.

"The Kiwanis Club do a great job," Gray said. The Marine, who served during the Vietnam War, called the race "very unique." The Fun Run course stretches out exclusively over the sand of the beach from the Chapel Street access down to the Connecticut Road area. The event was organized more than 30 years ago by the late Fort Myers Beach resident and Kiwanis club member Ferdinand Hauser.



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