Glow Across The Sunflower State

By now you may have heard of “The Happiest 5K on Earth” The Color Run. This year it has become the single largest event series in the world, taking place in over 225 cities across 40 countries this year. It may only be 5K, but with that kind of participation, those kilometers add up fast. A fun fact from their website: “Color Runners have run over 15,500,000 miles. That is 71.6 trips to the moon or 622 times around the world!”

While The Color Run has expanded this year to offer night races (The Color Run Night), it is only coming to three cities in the US during summer 2016. Not to worry though, you don’t have to miss out on any of the after dark action because The Blacklight Run and Foam Glow are stepping in to take it’s place. And good news, both are coming to Kansas this summer!

Foam Glow is first up and hits Bonner Springs on Saturday May 14th. Registration for this event is already 91% sold out. Pre-registration ended yesterday and was $20 per participant. If you are just hearing about this race, it’s not too late. You can still register today or tomorrow but the price goes up to $50 per runner. Likewise for VIP registration, tickets were $45 through the 12th then go up to $60 for last minute entries. If you are going to miss out on this weekends event, no worries because you will get another chance to glow in August when The Blacklight Run returns to Kansas on the 20th.

Sunflower 1

Just like the Foam Glow, The Blacklight Run Kansas has two tiers of registration, standard race entry and VIP entry. This summer they are also offering a “Girls Night Out” package to cater to small or large groups of parties wanting to register as a team. Included in every type of entry is a blacklight run T-shirt, a glow in the dark tattoo, race bib, glow pack and admission to the after party. The VIP registration is $45 and throws in extra glowing goodies like LED shutter shades, extra glow packs, a VIP shirt and access to the front lines via the VIP chute. Girls Night Out has similar perks to the VIP with a curated set of goodies to fit the theme.

Aside from the time frame, there are several points of differentiation between night races and your traditional daytime fun run. One look around the starting line of a The Blacklight Run will have you thinking, what’s going on here? Is it a dance party? A paint fight? A brightly colored parade of weirdos who reject traditional exercise? Yes, it’s all of those. It may not be a serious runner’s cup of tea, but that is kind of the point. Finally, a race for people who hate running, and mornings.

No need to bring your iPod either. These events come ready with multiple DJs, dance floors and plenty of bass to keep you moving throughout the race course. If dancing is your cardio, this event is for you. Consider the 5K portion of the evening your warm-up because these events are all about the after party. Don’t even thinking about packing it in and heading home once you’ve reached the finish line. Foam Glow and Blacklight runners are invited to stay and party into the early morning hours with food, beats, and blacklight EVERYTHING.

Sunflower 2

Normal races encourage participants to be courteous and practice basic runner’s etiquette. Not here. At Foam Glow and The Blacklight Run all of your fellow participants as well as a long line of volunteers are out to get you. Runners come armed with glow paint and bubble guns and volunteers introduce a new color of foam or UV glow paint at each kilometer marker. It’s all in good fun however, and you’ll be sure to hit the finish line glowing from head to toe and grinning from ear to ear.

Each of these races has a particular interest in giving back to children’s cancer research and sets aside a portion of your entry fee to be used as a donation to a children’s hospital charity. Some of their larger partners include St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, The Ronald McDonald House, Make-a-Wish Foundation, and The Special Olympics. However, Foam Glow Corporation allows each city to be involved in choosing its own charitable foundation and Kansas has selected Children’s Hospital as this year’s race beneficiary for both events. For more information on making donations, charitable giving, or how to submit your charity as a candidate to receive support click here.

Sunflower 3

If you are running for a cancer awareness cause of your own or to honor a specific patient, customizing your t-shirt is a great way to get your cause out there and make the race personal and memorable to you. If you really want to stand out, take your outfit to the next level by choosing a specific neon color for your team or creating a character. While making elaborate costumes is not required it certainly adds to the fun. Where else are you going to see a troop of hot pink butterflies racing against a pack of multicolored flashing glow worms.

Sunflower 4

Do you want to get in on the action but skip that run part? That’s ok too because Foam Glow and Blacklight Run are both looking for volunteers. The race requires that people be standing by at each mileage check point to douse the runners in a new color of neon foam and hand out more glow packs so that runners have a chance to attack each other as well. High school students ages 16 – 18 can even get credit for community service if their volunteer time is supervised by a parent, teacher, or club sponsor. If you would like to participate as a volunteer but also run the race, you are welcome to do that too. Set-up and registration starts as early as 4:30pm, so it’s completely feasible to be both a volunteer and a runner. For more information on sign up times and stations for the August 20th Kansas race at Bonner Springs click here.

Both the Foam Glow and The Blacklight Run are focused on fun over time, so come early, stay late and be prepared to make a memorable night out of this event. Anxious runners can start arriving as early as 6;00 pm, registration and pre-party begin at dusk (8:30 central time). The race kicks off at 9:00pm, and the after party glows on well into the night. So throw some glow in the dark laces in those nikes and grab a red bull. This is going to be a late one.

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