Midnight 5K evokes unique race atmosphere

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 12, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Twenty-nine individuals crowded around the Pavilion at the Demopolis SportsPlex as it approached midnight on June 29. While the group wasn&8217;t up to no good, they were up to something.

The band of night owls gathered during the full moon at the park, where present to run a 5K (3.1 mile) race organized by the Demopolis Kiwanis Club. The group organized the midnight event as a way to draw runners from surrounding areas to a meet that is unique from any other that is available.

While Brooker said the event didn&8217;t exactly draw huge numbers, he said he and the Kiwanis were happy with the 29-runner turnout that gathered at the Pavilion prior to the midnight gun. He said, other than being a unique sporting event, the 5K also served the purpose it was designed for &8212; raising money for Kiwanis charities.

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Brooker said there were other minute expenses involved with the race, but the majority of money raised went into the organization&8217;s charity coffers. He said the smoothness of the event and its unique appeal to runners is sure to make what he hopes becomes an annual event a growing draw to area and regional runners.

Brooker said the event has been organized so that future growth won&8217;t disrupt the plans. He said the organizers choose a route that stayed on the main road through the SportsPlex, which will support a greater number of runners if the event picks up popularity next year. He said he even made sure the event was held on a night with a full moon to increase visibility for runners, and, though the road will have all of the new light poles that are being installed by next year&8217;s meet, he thinks that the full moon will stay a staple of the event.

Winners for the event were, first place Andrew Gwin and second place Daniel Womble in the 10-14 age group, James Vaughn in the 15-19 age group, Matthew Phillips in the 20-24 age group, first place Patrick Rankin and second place Garret Baker, in the 25-29 age group, Allan Gilliland in the 30-34 age group, first place Patrick Baugh and second place Kelly Pierce in the 35-39 age group, Kenneth Harris in the 50-54 age group and Ro Tucker in the 55-59 age group.