'Glow Run' a bright, fun success
October 8, 2015
This year’s Homecoming weekend was the scene of the “Glow Run,” a late-night, glow-stick-lit jaunt around campus for students to participate in. It’s an activity organized by the RHA (Residence Hall Association), and was heavily attended on the Saturday night when it was held.
Student Hallie Kopczynski, a member of RHA, shared her experience during the Glow Run. Students who participated were first decked out in glow-sticks in the shape of necklaces, bracelets, and glasses; other glow-in-the-dark paraphernalia included flashlight rings and clips dangling with blinking strands.
“First, we checked into the Glow Run,” she recalls. “We got all kinds of glow sticks, just to get ready, and so people could see us while we’re running, and we made different sunglasses and listened to some music until the race was gonna start.”
A live band was present, the White Keys – a Black Keys cover band – adding a festive air to the occasion.
Student Hanseul Lee had a similar experience when she attended the Glow Run. “First, we got our glow sticks, and I wore plastic glasses,” she said. Then, she said, she began to follow everyone to the beginning of the run.
When the time came for the race to start, participants flocked to the starting line. With the runners in front and the walkers behind, participants of all speeds embarked on the glow stick-lit route. The Glow Run, which started at 9 p.m., took place in complete darkness so the path, which wound around campus, was illuminated solely by strategically and liberally placed glow sticks.
“So then, once the race started off, it was kind of neat,” Kopczynski said. “It was lined with glow sticks, and then you went into, like, the back part of [Ames and] South Fork suites, on that trail, because they have no lights back there, it was all glow; so you had to really follow the glow stick trail, otherwise you’d get off track.”
The trek was weirdly picturesque: complete darkness relieved by the bright glow sticks. Some were strewn along the path, and some were bobbing atop heads or encircling ankles. This was Lee’s favorite part of the whole run, she says.
“I liked the darkest road,” Lee remembers. “I couldn’t see anything, and in the sky, there were so many stars! ... that part was the best... I think just because I couldn’t see anything, and the lights.”
Kopczynski said, on the reason that RHA does the Glow Run, “I think Hall Council organizes the Glow Run because, a lot of times, we do have a lot of students on campus during the weekend,” she explains. “It’s a good way to get them involved and feel like they’re welcome and a part of the community, so that they still have something to look forward to on those weekends.”
For Lee, part of the attraction of the Glow Run was that she wasn’t sure what to expect. She went as part of a group, she said. “My friends told me to go there,” she said with a smile. Lee remembered, “I want to do something different... I didn’t know actually exactly what I’m gonna do, so I’m curious about that.”
Deciding to participate in the Glow Run was a different process for Kopczynski. “I decided to do the Glow Run because it was good, clean fun,” she said, explaining that “it was good to see students partaking in [those] activities on campus.” Part of the attraction for her, she said, was that “I love running,” but Kopczynski says that she would encourage anyone, runner or walker, to attend the Glow Run next year.
“I would definitely recommend freshmen doing the Glow Run, just because, on the way, while running, I met so many people,” she remembers. For her, that was an important component of the Glow Run. She interacted with a lot of people, she said, “just saying ‘hi,’ or asking them what their major was, and ask if they’re doing okay running... people do go all-out, they do run the whole thing.” She added, “Even if you’re walking, you can meet so many people that way, too.”
In Kopczynski’s eyes, the Glow Run wasn’t perfect. “I think something that they could add for next year was just, for those who did like run it all out, or just even for the walkers,” she said. “Just get some water out there, just ‘cause I was so thirsty at the end!”
However, this is her only criticism. “They started out nice, too, because they had the runners in front of the walkers, like they do for all races; so it’s kinda nice, if you don’t want to trample over anyone.”
Lee’s criticism of the Glow Run: she thought it should be longer next year. “It was too short for me!” she said.