After a long and successful history in Old Town Scottsdale, The Night Run will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year, at a new location, Tempe Town Lake, on Saturday May 9.
“Saturday night soccer games at the Scottsdale Stadium affected our original course, and we were encouraged to explore other options,” explained event co-director Tricia Schafer.
“We could not be more pleased with the warm welcome we have received from our new host city of Tempe!”
The Night Run 2015 will be staged at the Tempe Center for the Arts, and finish at Tempe Beach Park. The event benefits Tempe Center for the Arts Foundation.
The Night Run has brightened Valley streets with runners and walkers on a Saturday night in late April or early May for three decades. Known from the mid-1980s through 2009 as the “Night Run for the Arts,” the historic 8K and 5K run, walk, and fitness expo were rescued by local race directors John Lookabaugh and Tricia Schafer after the original organizers let it go in 2010.
Lookabaugh and Schafer re-branded the race with a creative “night owl” theme, and formed a nonprofit organization called The Night Run Inc. three years ago, to carry on the tradition and showcase local charities.
“The course is well-lit, and the bridges, buildings, and waterfront are stunning at night,” explains co-director John Lookabaugh.
“We are confident that our new venue will provide the quality and memorable experience that our longtime participants have come to expect.”
The Night Run is known for its tech-fabric shirts with reflective owl logo, goody bags filled with quality nutrition, a Liberty Wildlife exhibit featuring live owls, glow-in-the-dark finishers’ medals, age group awards, a prize wheel, and photo-ops with an endearing mascot named “Nite Al.”
The event is competitively timed, but there’s a non-competitive fun run option for $5 less.
“I’m thrilled to have The Night Run move to Tempe,” says Tempe City Councilman Kolby Granville, an avid runner and triathlete who participated in last year’s race, and recognizes the positive impact on local restaurants and establishments near the finish line.
“It has a long tradition being a fun, well-organized, event for both top and recreational runners. A perfect fit for the spirit of Tempe!”
Register at www.thenightrun.org.
Cost is $30-$45.
The Scottsdale Independent is available for free every Wednesday.