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The Suburbanite
  • Night Glow 5K lights up the streets in Jackson

  • Inclement weather hung over much of the week and weekend, but a small window of rain-free conditions was enough for more than 1,500 runners to take to the streets of Jackson for the 14th-annual Night Glow 5K on June 28.

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  • Inclement weather hung over much of the week and weekend, but a small window of rain-free conditions was enough for more than 1,500 runners to take to the streets of Jackson for the 14th-annual Night Glow 5K on June 28.
    The race took part on the third night of the Jackson Community Celebration against a backdrop of flashing lights, carnival games and distant music as the celebration itself continued at nearby North Park. Prior to the run, the Kids Fun Run event saw several dozen young competitors line up for a sprint down Community Drive, around cones at a turnaround point and back to the finish line.
    With the first race of the evening completed, runners for the 5K lined up in a mass of humanity along Fulton Drive directly in front of the high school.  Glow sticks worn as hats, headbands, necklaces, biceps bands and wristbands were the preferred fashion accessories of the night as the sunlight dwindled.
    Many runners elected for traditional attire, but there were the occasional ensemble oddities. Full-body suits with masks, video game character costumes and neon wardrobe items of all kinds added a dose of color to the run, which began with a few drops of rain falling, but not enough to dampen the excitement for the Subway Challenge Series race.
    As the starting bell sounded, runners and walkers headed west down Fulton Drive. As the park faded into the rearview mirror, they headed into the surrounding neighborhoods and past the first two mile markers before looping back toward the community celebration.
    The battle for first place overall turned into a two-man duel as Aimon Scullion, 26, of Kent and Nik Schweikert, 26, of East Canton remained within reach of one another for most of the race. Scullion edged ahead in the homestretch, breaking the tape in 14:42 after he and Schweikert sprinted down Community Drive to the finish line with luminaries lining both sides of the road and providing light for runners.
    Cate Fenster of Ashland was the top female finisher with a time of 18:34.
    A total of 231 walkers also completed the 5K, with Kris Jokovic, 41, of Canton outpacing the field with a time of 28:55.
    Jackson seniors Tyler Berg and Ben Hyde, both members of the 4x800 relay team that represented the Polar Bears at the Division I state track championships, came in 31st and 32, respectively, in the 5K run with times of 18:24.
    The race and community celebration came together later in the night as the top finishers, both overall and for each age group, were honored on the main stage at the west end of the festival area.
    Reach Andy at 330-899-2872 or andy.harris@TheSuburbanite.com.
    On Twitter: @aharrisBURB