The Duncan Banner

July 27, 2013

Runners brave dark, take off under the stars in first-year 5K

Sean Gorman
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — With the sun set and night skies fully settled in, the streets of Duncan were lit up by runners and walkers taking part in the city’s newest 5K Run Friday.

More than 90 runners and walkers came out to participate in the first ever “Run From the Dark” 5K, an event that started when most peoples’ days were coming to an end.

The night run was sponsored by She Is Safe, an organization comitted to liberating women and girls from abuse, poverty, exploitation and trafficking around the world.

“People like to give to a cause, they like to participate as well and this is one way they can do that,” DeAnna Sanders, event organizer and She Is Safe Country Director for Indonesia said. “I’m overwhelmed at the response, the volunteers did great. There’s just a new kind of excitement about a night time run.”

That unique element of the race, Sanders said, became a big draw for participation.

“The experienced runners like it, of course, because it’s cooler outside and they also like it because it’s different,” Sanders said. “There’s a cool factor literally and figuratively.”

In the momets leading up to the race, runner J’Nell Ash agreed.

“I’m really afraid of the dark, so this is a chance to get out of my comfort zone and try something new,” Ash said. “It’s something nobody has ever done before, it’s pretty cool.”

First place for both the men’s and women’s divisions of the race went to two regulars on the Duncan 5K running circuit – Walker Clampitt and Melissa Ray.

Runners braved the dark on a path that started and ended by the Duncan Regional Hospital.

It wasn’t just the runners out supporting the cause, as more than 20 volunteers lit the path with flashlights and reflective material.

When Sanders began planning a fundraiser, Duncan’s recent history in hosting 5K run’s made the night run a logical choice.

“We have a tradition of 5Ks in Duncan, and people are always looking for the next thing,” Sanders said. “We also felt like having it at night would help it making it stand out.”