Downtown Cape foot race offers exercise for mind and body

Monday, June 21, 2004

Those interested in working their body and mind might want to consider signing up for Run Around Town, a race Saturday that will lead participants of all fitness levels to historic locations in downtown Cape Girardeau.

Run Around Town starts at 8 a.m. at the Boardman Pavilion on Main Street.

Participants will be sent out in pairs. So the pairs cannot follow each other, each will be sent off at two-minute intervals in different directions.

At each stop along the race, participants will be given clues to lead them to the next destination. The pair who reaches all their destinations first wins. While participants are allowed to ask for help on the clues, including calling friends and family, everyone must travel by foot at all times, whether by running, jogging or walking.

Run Around Town first took place last year in Jackson and attracted 12 participants.

"Hopefully, the same folks from Jackson will come and people from Cape Girardeau will get involved," said Main Street Fitness manager Scott Givens.

Givens said Run Around Town has the same philosophy behind it as the Poker Run that will take place July 17 in Jackson City Park. Both aim to get people out and exercising.

In the Poker Run, participants pick up a playing card at each of their five stops. The winner is whoever has the best hand of cards at the end of the race.

"There are so many races out there, but some people just want to get out there, walk and enjoy themselves," Givens said. With the Run Around Town race, "You don't have to be an excellent runner, you just have to know your town."

The race is also "a fun way to experience downtown and learn some of the history of Cape Girardeau, said Catherine Dunlap, executive director of Old Town Cape, which is sponsoring the race with Southeast Missouri Hospital Fitness and Wellness.

Downtown Cape Girardeau is where the city began, Dunlap said. "It all took place in this 130-block area," she said.

That 130-block area is what constitutes Old Town Cape, which is bounded by North Street, Highway 74, the river and West End Boulevard.

For more information or to register for Run Around Town, call Southeast Fitness and Wellness at 334-9355 or stop by Main Street Fitness at 410 W. Main St. in Jackson. The registration deadline is Friday.

335-6611, extension 182

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