Run or walk, just glow in the dark

DJ Cochina and DJ Automatic filled the parking lot with energetic music at the Blacklight Run's pre-party in Irvine. (Angel Grady/Lariat)

DJ Cochina and DJ Automatic filled the parking lot with energetic music at the Blacklight Run’s pre-party in Irvine. (Angel Grady/Lariat)

Dressed in a white T-shirt, a fluorescent pink tutu, hot pink knee-high socks, pig tails and pink war paint on her face, the adult woman blended in perfectly at the Blacklight Run at Verizon Amphitheatre in Irvine.

Thousands of people of all ages gathered Saturday, March 12 for the Blacklight Run. The event kicked off with a pre-party an hour before race time. In the parking lot of the venue, a stage was set up, where DJ Cochino and DJ Automatic played electronic music, covered the participants in glow powder and threw giveaways into the crowd.

Participants dressed in all white or other black light responsive clothing. Many people were covered in glow powder, glow in the dark glasses, bracelets and even mohawks that lit up. For some, attending the run had been on their calendars for a while.

“We came out here just to have a good time, I actually missed the race last time, when they had it in November and I was really really bummed,” said black light participant Judy Minabalard, 47.

It was not required to run the race, everyone was free to walk or run at different paces. The rule was only that if you were walking or running slow, you stayed to the right, to make room for those moving faster.

“We’re not gonna run or walk it, we’re gonna dance it,” Minabalard said.

The 5k run started at the entrance to the venue and went through the amphitheater where it overflowed into several zig-zags in the parking lot to finish up the three miles. Black lights were set up throughout the track as well as stations of glow.

At the glow stations volunteers working the event threw powder on those passing by. Anyone who wanted to, could stand there and get an overdose of glow powder all over them. This made them stand out more under the black light, but too much in the face made it a little hard to breathe.

“Especially in the after party, when people were throwing the powder,” said run participant Savannah Stocker, 15. “You had to hold your breath for a while. You couldn’t breathe or see, it was a little irritating, but it was fun.”

At the finish line, there was a water station to hydrate and runners got a free glow pack to take to the after party.

Everyone was invited to the after party. Held at the same spot as the pre-party, the DJs threw more gifts and glow packs in the crowd. It was hard to avoid getting covered from head to toe in glow powder.

The music boomed and thousands of people jumped up and down and danced all over the place, some were looking forward to all the glow-in-dark stuff and the after party more than the actual run itself.

“I love to run and I love glow-in-the-dark stuff, so I figured this is the best place to be,” said Long Beach resident Katie Magana, 26. “Dancing after with my friends will be the best part of the night.”

According to Black Light Run website, they are committed to giving back to the community. They dedicate their races to children. They are faithful to children and families, understanding that one in three families are rocked by childhood cancer, terminal illnesses every day.

They dedicate their races to Childhood Cancer Awareness and make sure they are working to spread the word around the nation one runner, one race at a time.