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Fourteenth Annual 5K Wildlife Rescue Run/Walk Supports Alaska SeaLife Center’s Stranding Program

Seward, AK (August 1, 2012) –The Alaska SeaLife Center is hosting its fourteenth annual 5K Wildlife Rescue Run/Walk on Saturday, August 4.  This annual fundraiser supports the rescue and rehabilitation mission of the Center’s stranding program.  This has been an especially busy year for the stranding program, fielding more than 100 calls statewide, and responding to numerous injured or orphaned marine animals including one sea otter, one beluga whale, twelve harbor seals, fifteen seabirds, and three walrus during 2012.

The 5K follows a generally flat course along the picturesque Seward waterfront during the Center’s SeaFest Weekend.  Walkers and runners are invited to register online at https://www.signmeup.com/85074 and pick up their race bib and limited edition collectors T-shirt in the Center’s lobby on Saturday between 9:30 am and 11:30 am.  Untimed walkers will start on the course at 11:15 am, and the starting gun for the timed run goes off at noon.  Awards will be presented at 3:00 pm.

Supporters unable to be in Seward on Saturday can participate in the program as a “virtual runners.”  Virtual runners can run their 5K wherever and whenever they want, or not at all.  Virtual runners can register online at https://www.signmeup.com/85075 anytime before the end of the year.  Registrants will receive a pair of exclusive socks in the mail and are eligible for monthly prizes upon submitting a photo of their virtual run.

All participants in the 5K and virtual runners registered by August 31 will be eligible for a prize drawing for 50,000 Alaska Airlines miles made possible through the support of GCI.

Other race sponsors include Dr. Michael P. Moriarty DDS, Kruzof Fisheries, J&R Fisheries, Petro Marine Services, Royal Caribbean, TelAlaska, Wells Fargo, Y South Health Association, Eureka Pizza, Alaska Serigraphics, Seward Parks and Recreation and Safeway.  Additional major stranding program contributors include Shell, ConocoPhillips, BP Alaska and PetZoo.

The Alaska SeaLife Center is the only permanent marine rehabilitation center in Alaska, responding to stranded wildlife such as sea otters, harbor seals, and walrus.  The Center operates a 24-hour hotline for the public to report stranded marine mammals or birds, and encourages people who have found a stranded or sick marine animal to avoid touching or approaching the animal; instead, those individuals should call 1-888-774-SEAL (7325).

The Alaska SeaLife Center is a private non-profit research institution and visitor attraction which generates and shares scientific knowledge to promote understanding and stewardship of Alaska’s marine ecosystems.  The Alaska SeaLife Center is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. For additional information, visit www.alaskasealife.org

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