Glow Run benefits Chamber and Relay for Life

READY, SET, GLOW: Runners take off from the starting line on Saturday evening in the Glow Run 5K. (Pioneer photo/Justin McKee)

READY, SET, GLOW: Runners take off from the starting line on Saturday evening in the Glow Run 5K. (Pioneer photo/Justin McKee)

BIG RAPIDS — Dozens of runners lit up the night on Saturday as the Glow Run 5K benefited both the Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce and Mecosta County Relay for Life.

Racers began at Pocket Park, making their way north to loop around Big Rapids Middle School and follow Riverwalk south to the hospital before heading back north to downtown. Afterward, runners and fans alike enjoyed a block party near J.C. Penney’s.

READY TO RUN: Cooper Schoenborn, age 4, plays with his glow necklaces as his aunt, Robin Grabill, attaches his number. Schoenborn participated in the Glow Run, his first race, on Saturday.(Pioneer photo/Justin McKee)

READY TO RUN: Cooper Schoenborn, age 4, plays with his glow necklaces as his aunt, Robin Grabill, attaches his number. Schoenborn participated in the Glow Run, his first race, on Saturday.(Pioneer photo/Justin McKee)

The Chamber hosts the race and receives the registration proceeds, explained Amanda Greenwood, race organizer and administrative assistant at the Chamber. The block party, with food and games, benefited Relay.

“It’s kind of two separate events — we do the run and they do the party,” Greenwood said.

Participation was higher for this race than the first Glow Run in 2014, with pre-registrations alone hitting the 160 mark, she added. In contrast, the 2014 event had about 100 runners.

“We’re really excited about the turnout,” Greenwood said, surveying the line of runners picking up registration packets. “It’s really awesome to see so many people of different ages.”

Many racers were accompanied by children. Laura Vallette had her 6-year-old daughter, Jaedyn, with her as a running partner.

SISTER TIME: Heather Wesp, Sarah Bowman and Chelsie Palethorpe dressed in an '80s theme to run the Glow Run 5K on Saturday. (Pioneer photo/Candy Allan)

SISTER TIME: Heather Wesp, Sarah Bowman and Chelsie Palethorpe dressed in an ’80s theme to run the Glow Run 5K on Saturday. (Pioneer photo/Candy Allan)

“I’m part of the Big Rapids Jaycees and we were talking about the Glow Run as one of the Chamber events we should be involved with,” Vallette said. “Then I found out it was connected with Relay and that was a bonus. We’re here to come out, run, have fun and see how brightly we can glow.”

For some participants, the later start time appealed to them.

“I get to actually stay up!” said Chelsie Palethorpe, 11.

Palethorpe was running with Sarah Bowman and Heather Wesp. The trio dressed in an ’80s theme for the race.

“We’re here for sister time,” Bowman said. “I hate running but it’s fun to dress up.”

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Posted by Candy Allan

Candy is the Pioneer's associate editor. She also coordinates the Family & Friends, Religion and Parenting pages. She can be reached by phone at (231) 592-8386 or by e-mail at callan@pioneergroup.com.

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