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Police challenge: Can you outrun a cop at the Cape Cops 5K?

By Staff | May 5, 2012

The Cape Coral Police Department is challenging citizens to try and outrun a cop as a way to raise funds for the families of fallen and injured officers.

The 7th annual Cape Cops 5K Run/Walk will take place May 19 at the Cape Coral Yacht Club. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m., with the race starting at 7:30 a.m. The Kids Fun Run, open to ages 12 and under, will follow the race.

The pre-registration fee is $25 for adults and $15 for 18 and under.

The entry fee on the day of the event is $35 for all ages.

Cpl. Georgeann Lytle, the race director, explained that the event originally started as a way to raise funds for the CCPD’s Do The Right Thing program. About three years ago, it became a fund-raiser for the Cape Cops 5K Fund.

The fund benefits the families of fallen and injured officers in Lee County, and covers agencies on all levels – municipal, state and even federal.

Lytle cited the 2011 shooting of Cape Officer David Wagoner.

“Obviously, we pray that we will never have to use these funds, but the occasion came last year when Officer Wagoner was shot in the line of duty, and we were able to provide emergency assistance to his family,” she said.

The race is purposely scheduled during National Police Memorial Week.

“That’s why we do the race when we do it,” Lytle said.

Last year, more than 350 people participated.

“Last year was a record event for us. That was the biggest number to date,” she said, adding that the agency is hoping to break 400 this year.

“As the public knows more about it year after year, they see it more as a fun event,” Lytle said.

There is even a friendly rivalry between the police and citizens, with the officers wearing T-shirts that ask if the reader has tried to outrun a cop.

“A little healthy prodding to get them to go a little faster,” she said.

The race is timed using ChronoTrack bib tag technology.

Medals are awarded to the top three finishers in each age group. Overall master, grand master and senior grand master receive trophies, while the overall male and female will earn a trophy and a $75 gift card to Target.

“It’s a good variety of people,” Lytle said.

Walkers are also welcome to participate in the race.

“We have a lot of walkers, a lot of people who come and bring their kids out,” she said. “We definitely encourage skill levels of all types.”

Like the runners, medals are given to the top three in each age group.

All participants receive an event T-shirt and a goodie bag. They also will be entered into a raffle for free prizes, including gift cards and a hotel stay.

Once the race is complete, the Kids Fun Run will start.

It is free, and children are not required to register.

“All the kids get a medal, and they get a goodie bag,” Lytle said.

Refreshments will be served following the race.

“It’s a great way to get the citizens interacting with the police department,” she said. “And, it’s a really beautiful course – it’s a really nice area.”

The course winds through the neighborhoods surrounding the Yacht Club.

Lytle explained that one of the problems last year was closing off traffic to those trying to get to the beach or the boat ramp. This year, traffic into the area will only be closed off from about 7:25 to 8 a.m., when the race starts.

“There was one change to alleviate traffic issues,” Lytle said. “The course is the same, however, we’re doing it in the exact reverse.”

Register online at: www.ftmyerstrackclub.com.

To register by mail, mail a check and an entry form to Fort Myers Track Club, P.O. Box 60131, Fort Myers, FL 33906-6131. Make checks payable to the FMTC. Mailed entry forms must be postmarked no later than May 11.

The Cape Coral Yacht Club is at 5819 Driftwood Parkway.

For more information, call the CCPD at 574-3223.