The Cape Road Runners club strives to help runners develop a better lifestyle and cultivate healthy habits for the rest of their lives. The club is preparing for the 32nd annual City of Roses half-marathon, 5k and kid's fun run in Cape Girardeau.
This year the club purchased a new timing system called the Jaguar Chip. The chip uses radio frequency identification, which is attached to the bib of the runner. At the finish line, the antenna system reads the runners approach and records the time into a database. Reports of the times are instantaneous and are printed to the race divisions set up by the race directors. After the times are recorded, the chips are disposed.
"It's really nice to have the chip-timing system because we won't have to do it manually now," Cape Road Runners president Steve Seyller said.
Seyller said the race is sponsored by the club and all proceeds will go to local youth running programs in the area. He said there were about 240 participants in the half-marathon and 140 in the 5k in last year's event and proceeds went to the parks and recreation department for the youth in the area.
The half-marathon is 13.1 miles and participants will run mostly on flat pavement. The course is on main roads, side roads, riverfront roads, historic downtown streets and through city parks. There will be four water stations for the first eight miles and then one every mile.
The club started in 1986 as a non-profit organization and affiliate member of Road Runners Club of America. There are roughly 200 members participating in the club today by helping with local running events.
"I joined the club back in 1998, but in 2003 I was activated in the Army Reserves, so I've been in the military for a long time and that's what got me into running," Seyller said. "I was in Chicago for the reserves and we did half-marathons up there. We would also sign up in groups and do them as well. It was mostly for that comradeship."
Seven committee members help with timing, volunteering, sponsorship, awards, social media and public relations. Members will be assigned to one of the functions to help make it easier to prepare for events.
"In the past we've also given donations to the K-9 unit in Cape Girardeau and supplied gear as well as helping with the timing system for cross country meets and invitationals," Sellyer said.
The race will start at 7:30 a.m. Sept. 19 at the Osage Center. Top finishers of the half-marathon will receive medals and winners of different age groups will receive awards.
To register for the City of Roses races and look at the course map, go to caperoadrunners.org. Seyller can be contacted for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-243-1895.