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5Ks that Light Up the Night

5Ks that Light Up the Night

I started running 5Ks after realizing I would be the first to die in The Hunger Games. Not naturally enthralled with running, it took some zombie 5K apps and gimmicks to get me moving. Some of my favorite 5Ks have been color runs and glow runs, where participants end the race covered in colorful powder or adorned with glow in the dark swag. Whether walking, sprinting, or something in between, here’s a list of national 5K races if you want to light up the night. Be sure to also checkout our blog post on Safety Lights for Nighttime Activities as you may want additional light during the race or safety lights for your training leading up to the events.

Blacklight Run, March 5-November 19

The event kicked off in San Diego, CA, but the race is still touring through the United States, ending in Austin, TX on November 19th. Back in 2014, this was the race that introduced me to black light 5Ks and I’ve enjoyed several others since then. Unlike some of the other races, it is not a timed event. Standard entry includes a race shirt, race bib, and packet of UV glow powder. Glow sticks and other swag are available with VIP registration, or you can always bring your own.

TheGloRun, March 11-November 5

This 80’s inspired 5K features some unique light scenes I haven’t seen anywhere else. Though it doesn’t come through Dallas, the pictures make me wish it would. This 5K does not use any of the colored cornstarch powder. Instead, runners have the option of going to a black light paint station prior to the race. Utilizing black lights, inflatables, and what looks like C7/C9 stringers wrapped around a frame, the 2015 races featured safari scenes and disco tents in place of the colored powder stations popular with other races. Registration includes an event shirt, 3 piece “GloGear” set of snap sticks, a race bib, and tote. Runners have the option of upgrading to a timed run or keeping it casual.

FoamGlow, March 12-November 12

2016 will be my first year participating in this 5K. The “foam cannons” is what sold me on this race that kicks off in Tampa, FL and then hosts races around the US and concludes the year in San Diego, CA. The lucky people in Washington DC have two chances at participating, the first in April and the second in June. Standard entry includes a race shirt, bib, and black light temporary tattoo.

Firefly Run, Starting March 26

I will be sporting some fashionable LEDs at this 5K with one of my coworkers. It’s the only 5K on this list to host a costume contest at the end of the race (assuming you’re still able to walk on stage to claim your prize). Standard registration includes an event shirt, 2 LED light bands, a race bib, and a mystery gift. Event dates are still being determined for most cities, so check the Firefly Run website for updates on events near you.

Planning an event of your own? Do it up right with colored glow sticks that last up to 12 hours and flexible lightsticks for wrists, necklaces, or decoration. Get a small team together and run through your local park, or turn it into a city wide event by checking with your local municipality for the required paperwork and permits. Don’t think everyone is up for a full 3.1 miles? Circle markers are a great way to signal 1 mile fun runners down one path and 5K runners down another. At your next race, take some selfies and share with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You can also find us on Google PlusLinkedIn and Pinterest for more ways to light up the night and stay safe on your evening jogs.



This is a curated list of glow in the dark races coming up in 2016. While I’ve participated in similar races, this post does not serve as a recommendation since I haven’t participated in all of the races listed above. Event details may change; check the race website for more information. 1000Bulbs.com is not affiliated with any of the races mentioned in this post.

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