By Kaylyn Christopher
Times West Virginian
Each day, hundreds of cars travel along the Gateway Connector.
But on Saturday, Oct. 26, hundreds of runners will be doing the same thing.
Participants in the third annual Gateway NightGLOW 5K will be lining up and running down the Connector into the historic downtown city center before finishing the race at Palatine Park.
“The idea of seeing all of the people in glowing costumes running down the hill is such a beautiful thing, so we’re continuing the race for that reason — to celebrate the Connector and what it means for the community,” said Kate Greene, executive director of Main Street Fairmont.
Hosted by Main Street Fairmont and the Associated Businesses of East Fairmont, the race is appropriate for competitive and recreational runners alike.
“It’s just as much about fun as it is about speed,” Greene said. “It’s very relevant to the serious racer, but it’s also a super fun way to get out and do something cool in the community.”
In addition to the 5K run, a two-mile walk is an option. Greene said the race is sanctioned and will be chip timed.
Individuals interested in entering the race can register online at www.runsignup.com or they can wait until the day of the race. From 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 26, NightGLOW participants can register for the race at a pancake brunch at Gateway United Methodist Church, 301 Diamond St. The cost of the brunch is $5 and the proceeds of the brunch benefit the Associated Businesses of East Fairmont.
Runners can also register between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. at Palatine Park the day of the race. The race starts at 8 p.m.
During registration, Greene said various other activities will be going on and glow necklaces will be handed out.
“We’re partnering with WFGM and WKKW,” Greene said. “It will be a lot of fun. We will have facepainting stations and we’re encouraging people to get outrageous with their glow.”
Greene said 194 runners participated in the event last year, and she hopes to see that number increase to 275. For anyone in the community who doesn’t want to run in the race but still wants to be involved, Green said volunteers are always needed.
“We want volunteers to be along the course,” Greene said. “Because it’s a night race, we take the safety of this seriously and want the course marked as clearly as possible.”
The race fee is $15 prior to Oct. 16 and $20 after Oct. 16. The first 150 registrants are guaranteed a T-shirt.
Greene said the proceeds of the race are used for many of Main Street Fairmont’s projects.
“The proceeds benefit the revitalization of downtown,” Greene said. “The money will go back into Main Street programs and projects for economic vitality and quality of life in historic downtown.”
Sponsors for the race include the City of Fairmont, Vista Promotions, Med Express, Novelis and Fairmont State University.
Following the race, Greene said refreshments will be available and an awards ceremony will be held.
For more information, call Main Street Fairmont at 304-366-0468 or visit the NightGLOW Race Facebook page or www.mainstreetfairmont.org.
Email Kaylyn Christopher at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @KChristopherTWV.