My clients and I signed up for the Glow in the Dark 5k sponsored by Living Social. We were sold on the advertising copy:

Head to RFK Stadium — dressed in all black — on Friday, November 9 for a fun run unlike any race you’ve ever seen. We’ll be loaded up with a ton of awesome glow-in-the-dark swag, including an official race T-shirt. As we run, music will be piped into speakers along the course, so we’re all moving to the same beat.


At the race site, we were welcomed by a well-oiled machine. There were lovely (read: polite and cheerful) staff members directing our every move. There were no long lines, no confusion, and stacks of glow sticks. I was impressed. We put on our shirts, fastened our necklaces, and posed for the camera.


After I found the remaining members of our group, we headed outside seduced by the sounds of Neyo and LFMAO. Everyone was dancing. All 2,000 of us. There were probably more (or less). Who knows, it was dark. We were excited to start but were forced to stand at the starting line for more than 30 minutes – after the official start time. We were losing enthusiasm, and feeling in our fingers. In hindsight, I realize they did this because the course was too small to allow everyone to start together. Still, a sister was cold.

Finally, we were running. The music was energizing. We were shoulder shrugging, clapping, and jutting our chin to the beat. We were having fun. Then reality hit. Picture it. It’s dark. You are running North. Suddenly, someone runs in front of you from the West. The running bandit from the West stops in front of you to grab a glow stick that has fallen to the ground. This bandit isn’t a staff member doing upkeep. It’s another runner who has decided that the more glow sticks he collects, the more rations he’ll receive at dinner time. What is going on!? I couldn’t see where I was going and I was surrounded by minions diving for fallen glow necklaces.

To adjust to the darkness, I dropped my pace to 9 minute miles. Now, I had to factor in manic, glow stick collectors. I looked like a tranquilized antelope jumping over moving hurdles. The race stopped being fun.

Conclusion: I’m glad I went. It’s always fun working out with my clients. But I won’t go again. I will never run a race in the dark, unless I have a head lamp and a bull dozer. With that being said, I witnessed people having a great time. I wasn’t one of them.

1. The staff was organized and friendly.
2. The music was high energy and relevant.
3. The shirts were eye catching.
4. The first can of beer is free.

1. The start time was delayed.
2. The visibility was low. I didn’t know dark meant dark dark.
3. The post-race food was sad. They gave me a sample size bag of pop chips.
4. The finish line was uneventful. Why weren’t staff members or life-size glow sticks there to greet us? At a minimum, music should’ve been blasting at the finish. We didn’t even know we were done. The finish line was the quietest spot on the course. Womp.

Did you go to the Glow in the Dark 5k? Were you one of the people I saw having the time of your life? 


Angel · 03/22/2013 at 9:35 pm

@Jessica. I agree with all points. I’m not knocking the race, not really my style to do so. I’m glad I went. I just won’t go again. 🙂 thanks for your feedback!

Jessica · 03/11/2013 at 10:13 am

I had the same problem at the 5k. It was fun..until we were at the start line for way too long and it stopped being fun – then the weird painting stations which wasn’t really paint, but more like goo was not fun. Also not fun was dodging all of the people who just decided to stop in the middle.

The post race food was sad!

All in all, fun level of 6/10, mostly because of my friends.

Chels R. · 03/08/2013 at 12:51 pm

Love it!! Those kinds of races are so much fun.

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