By Bonnie Adams, Government Editor
?Northborough – The Corridor Nine Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a 5K road race Saturday, Sept. 15, as part of Northborough's annual Applefest celebration. The route for this year's race, the 19th one the chamber has sponsored, will once again be along the scenic roads of Northborough, starting and finishing at the Marion E. Zeh School, 33 Howard St. But runners who have participated in past years will find one major difference this time ?- electronic “chip timing” will be done by 3C Race Productions.
Karen Chapman, Corridor Nine's vice president, said that this change is expected to help process times and results much more effectively, especially as over 500 runners and walkers are expected.
“Chip timing will eliminate any problems with timing and scoring of the race results,” she explained. “There will be no mistakes in the results caused by runners wearing the wrong number or runners who get out of order in the finishing chutes. Because the process of matching times to numbers is computerized, human error is minimized, and times can be made available almost instantaneously through the system.”
Dave Jacobs, who is serving as the race director for the seventh year, agreed.
“Every year we try to do something new and innovative, to keep things fresh,” he said. “We think having the chip system will be huge for the runners. They won's have to wait as long to see their results.”
This year's race will also feature a new sponsor, Shrewsbury Health and Racquet Club (SHARC). As well as providing financial support, SHARC representatives will be on hand prior to the race to lead the runners in a warm-up session. Also present, Chapman said, will be DJ Jimmie Johnson from Crystal Entertainment Services to provide musical entertainment and hand out raffle prizes. (The Community Advocate is once again the media sponsor).
The chamber has also invited members of the business community to exhibit their products or services at the race for a minimal charge.
“We thought it would be a great way for businesses to have the opportunity to reach out to the community and meet people in a fun setting,” Chapman said.
“In the past, after the race everyone has gone over to watch the parade – but this year there is no parade. So we are hoping everyone will stay around and enjoy the camaraderie and accolades as we give out the prizes at the finish line at the Zeh School,” Jacobs added. “We also hope that local businesses will consider exhibiting there as well. It will give them an accessibility and visibility to a lot of different people.”
One tradition that runners can again expect is the inclusion of cross country teams from local high schools. For the past five years, the chamber has invited boys and girls teams to participate, with prizes awarded to the top teams.
Prizes will also be awarded to the top finishers in age categories including 12 and under, 13-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and 70 and over.
Registration the day of the race will start 8:30 a.m. with the race itself starting at 10 a.m.
The cost to register is $22 before Friday, Sept. 7, and $27 on and after Sept. 7. Runners who pre-register by Sept. 14 will receive an official long-sleeved race T-shirt. Walkers are also welcome to join in, but they will not be timed.