As the sun dipped below the horizon and time tiptoed toward the seven o’clock hour, Kate Wilson made her way to the starting line and began to stretch. She was literally glowing as the twinkle lights draped around her shoulders and torso flickered on and off and her cowgirl hat beamed brightly — it was the perfect outfit for the REC Center’s annual Glowing Pumpkin Fun Run.
“This is great fun,” said Wilson. “I come out and do this every year ... any excuse to wear my glowing cowboy hat.”
The run, held on the third Thursday in October every year, brings families out to East Lake Park for fun, food and exercise.
“It’s a great community event, and a great family event,” Wilson added, bouncing on the balls of her feet as she prepared for the run.
Wilson was running with her REC Center family Thursday night as her own family had other commitments.
Participants could either run or walk the trail around the lake. And for those wanting to turn the run into a 5K, there was the option to take a second lap around the park.
The run began at 7 p.m., but families were at East Lake Park much earlier as there were scores of activities for children including two bounce houses, face painting and pumpkin bowling.
“This is definitely one of those events that every year keeps getting bigger,” said Raul Becerril, health and wellness coordinator at the REC Center.
Becerril said about 400 people had signed up for the run. That’s 100 more from the previous year.
“I remember the first year they did it, it was a lot smaller. Then word got out, people post pictures of it and people say ‘oh, we’re going to do this next year.’ And it keeps getting bigger and bigger,” he said.
Becerril said the popularity of the run doesn’t surprise him as the mission of the run has stayed the same year after year — family fun outdoors.
“(The run) brings family and friends together and gives them something to look forward to throughout the week and (reminds them) they can still do things (outdoors) in the months of October and November.”