Seminole County trails get new markers, better GPS tech

Seminole County trails are getting easier.

Chris Connor trains for full and half-marathons on the Seminole Wekiva Trail. 

“I started running to support St. Jude and to just keep my fitness level up,” said Connor, who lives in Longwood.

But during a training run two years ago, “it got to the point where I just couldn’t breathe, and I made a 911 call and about halfway through the call with the dispatcher, I just passed out.” 

Connor had a heart attack. Luckily, two guys on bikes stopped to help.

“One was coming one way. One was coming the other.” 

But, one had to ride up to the nearest cross street, so he could tell dispatchers exactly where they were. 

Many runners and cyclists on this trail don’t always know. 

“That day, if you had asked me what road we were on, what crossroad we were near, I couldn’t tell you. And I run this everyday,” Connor said.

Until now, the trail markers in Seminole County only showed you what mile of the trail you were on, but now they’ve got a whole lot more information. 

Seminole County is approving new trail markers with new technology.

“It has GPS tech that will be able to get whether it be the first responders there quickly and know where you are,” said Seminole County Commissioner Lee Constantine. 

It has GPS and U.S. National Grid coordinates, so if another emergency happens there, dispatchers know exactly where you are. 

The county also added more trail markers, so they’re located every half-mile instead of every mile. 

The cost was $27,000, but the value is priceless. 

“I think that all of my fellow commissioners agree that public safety is our number one priority,” Constantine said.

As Chris Connor trains for his first marathon since his heart attack, it also offers him comfort.

“It’s a great start and I’m glad that they’re doing it,” he said.