A new vibe is taking place in the running world. If you haven’t yet noticed, running is getting more colorful, even a little dirtier. Mud runs, obstacle runs, color runs, and now the latest, a glow run, are changing the landscape of foot races. The first series of Glow Run 5Ks are set to take place this summer in the heart of the plains.
Steve Blew is the race director for the Glow Run 5K. He refers to these races as his “baby.” Currently the Glow Run is scheduled to take place in three locations, Kansas City, Wichita, and Omaha. The races take place at night and are being billed as a one-of-a-kind experience. The course is described as an event that will light up the night with things like a sixty foot black light tunnel, laser light shows, and runners who are encouraged to wear as many glow items as they can handle.
Sounds fun, and totally different. Blew explained how he crafted this idea. He referred to many of his friends being into the new trend of Day Glow parties, parties where only black lights are used and glowing paint is splashed all around while a DJ keeps everyone dancing. Apparently the parties become one giant glowing mob. So honestly put, Blew gave his friends the credit for inspiring him.
“The idea came from a group of my freaky friends who are into glow parties.”
While the concept of running through a glow party is pretty new (the Great Glow Run recently took place in North Carolina and Virginia), this run comes on the heels of so many different themed races. When questioned, Blew explained he and his co-workers at the KC Running Company want to draw in a demographic they’ve been missing at races, the younger crowd. He explained how a foot race at 7AM on a Saturday tends to be missing young adult runners. With events like the Glow Run, Blew hopes this crowd can be motivated to get active and stay healthy since exercise is being painted in a different light, literally.
Each Glow Run is a 5K (3.1 miles) open to all ages and abilities. Competitive runners can race for the top awards and age grade awards, while those in it simply for fun can take as long as they need to cross the finish line. All finishers will cross the line under the LED-lit arch and receive a glow-in-the-dark finisher’s medal. Each city has chosen a charity for the race to benefit. In Kansas City, that’s Friends of the City Market. In Wichita and Omaha, they are supporting their local Leukemia and Lymphoma Society organizations.
If you’re interested in participating, you better register fast. As Blew explained, registration is filling up quickly, much faster than they anticipated. The draw for these alternative running events is booming and the proof is in the registration. According to blew, the Wichita event received more than 900 entries in the first two days registration was open.
With those numbers, the after party of the Glow Run will surely be spirited. If the water stations that they are calling “Social Stations” weren’t enough, they will also have DJs and lasers, and the finish area will have a full-blown party. There will be a beer garden, lots of glow, and a DJ playing the sounds you’d hear at a Day Glow party.
Sounds like a blast. Sign up today as an individual or put together a team and compete for the prize of “glowiest team,” or compete for the best time in the “glow worm division.” Registration is available at glowrun5k.com.