UO students and alumni organize race for charity

Glow XC participants will receive complementary glow sticks as well as a free LED headlight to wear during the race
Glow XC participants will receive complementary glow sticks as well as a free LED headlight to wear during the race

Seven University of Oregon students and recent alumni have joined forces in an effort to make a difference in the health of Oregon’s rural communities through a new night trail run called Glow XC.

The race will take place at Elijah Bristow State Park, about 20 minutes outside Eugene, on Saturday, May 31, at 9:30 p.m. The 4.25-mile course will be lit with more than 4,000 LED lights, and race participants are encouraged to dress in glowing attire. Participants will receive complementary glow sticks as well as a free LED headlight to wear during the race.

The race proceeds will benefit the Oregon Office of Rural Health’s Apple A Day campaign, which provides grants to support training for rural emergency response volunteers. The grants are seen as a key to recruiting and retaining volunteers who support the health of the communities they serve.

Organizing committee members chose the grant program because many of them have pre-health backgrounds from the UO. The race director, Aaron Boothby, is an Oregon native who received his Wilderness First Responder certification through the UO. He plans to continue his education at Oregon Health and Science University this summer.

Leif Schumacher, director of online marketing and publicity for Glow XC, got involved with the event after volunteering for Moonlight Five, Glow XC’s predecessor. Moonlight Five had about 800 participants and raised about $10,000.

Schumacher hopes to see a similar turnout for this event. For him, the combination of helping a cause he believes in and being involved in Eugene’s running culture is a huge draw.

“A lot of us were pre-health, which led them to benefit a cause related to health. Now we have members who have been marketing and business majors, so everyone provides a unique perspective from their degree,” Schumacher said of the organizing committee.

One of the target audiences for the race is the UO community. The committee plans to post flyers around campus and pass out material to students in hopes they will participate in the race.

The entry fee for Glow XC is $40 until May 24, when it goes up to $45 through the day of the race. Participants are encouraged to race in teams, and groups of four or more will receive a discount. Students also qualify for a discounted fee.

Racers can register for the event online.

- By Katherine Cook, Public Affairs Communications intern