RUNNING: Cable family embraces 41st annual Monmouth-Independence Mini-Marathon

MONMOUTH-INDEPENDENCE -- Eleven years seems like a long time to be the race director of the annual Monmouth-Independence Mini-Marathon. But for Terry Cable, the event -- which grew to its largest field ever in 2012 -- has been a part of not only his life, but also his family's for much longer than that. "I grew up in Monmouth," Cable said. "I ran the first Mini-Marathon in 1972 when I was 10 years old.""When I moved back to town to start my business in 1997, I started participating in the race again."In his first race back, Cable also brought along a youthful passenger -- his daughter, Franki. "I don't really remember that one," the recent Central High graduate said with a laugh. "But he always talks about that as our first Fourth of July when we moved here. He pushed me in my stroller all the way down to the finish line."Terry Cable's insistence on family participation has resonated with the 41st annual event, which ballooned to 467 participants in 2012.The 2.6-mile race is set to begin at 11:30 a.m. on July 4, with the start line in front of Monmouth City Hall. When Cable first took over as race director in 2002, there were only around 200 racers. Terry Cable It's also not uncommon to see entire families -- young children included -- make their way down Main Street in Monmouth to Independence's Old City Hall on Monmouth Street. Of the 467 runners and walkers in last year's event, 71 were children 14 years or younger. "Over the years, the participation has really broadened to all different fitness levels," Cable said. "The kids are not intimidated, the distance is perfect for all levels and it's challenging enough for inexperienced runners but it's enough of a distance challenge for middle-distance runners."The other benefit? You get an entire cheering section, as community residents line the streets in preparation for the Fourth of July parade, slated to start shortly afterward."There's just something about running through the whole community with everyone on the side of the road, cheering," Franki Cable, who ran her first race at age 7, said. "Seeing everyone, seeing faces you know and people cheering you on -- and there's people who have lived here and then moved away, but they come back to run in the race. "It's just really neat."The Cables make the race a family affair, too, as Franki and her brother, Kevin, a sophomore at Central, help with race preparations like posting fliers and making signs, plus on race day when competitors pick up their packets. Terry's wife, Lesli, is usually delegated to run one of the family's Brooks and Terry's Espresso coffee shops, located in Monmouth, Independence and Dallas. "For the few months before the race, it's definitely No. 1 on the list of our table talk," Franki Cable said. With participation in the event nearing 500 people, 2013 will mark the second straight year that the race is officially timed by a professional company in Eclectic Edge Racing. Terry Cable is hoping entries top 500. "When I first started, I could just stand up and give the pre-race introductions with the sound of my voice," he said. "Now, you need a bullhorn. It's really neat to see."One change in the event this season is extended hours on day-of-race registration, which is set to begin at 7 a.m. on July 4, but Cable emphasizes signups will end at 10:30 a.m. sharp.To preregister, go to www.eclecticedgeracing.com. 41st ANNUAL MONMOUTH-INDEPENDENCE MINI-MARATHON What: 2.6-mile, mostly downhill race that begins in front the Monmouth City Hall and ends at Old City Hall in Independence. The elevation drop from start to finish is 47 feet. When: July 4, 11:30 a.m. Cost: $12 for adults and $5 for children 10 and under in advance; $20 and $10 on day of race. For more information: Terry Cable, 503-930-2360.Online registration is available at eclecticedgeracing.com.

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