Hundreds ring in the holidays at sold-out Bright Nights 5k
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - The Bright Nights 5k has returned to Forest Park in Springfield with 500 runners prepared to take part in the annual tradition.
Runners were set to take their marks and start the fun at Bright Nights at 6:30 p.m.
Runners were ready in their costumes, telling us how this race helps get them in the holiday spirit.
“I just like it because it’s a fun community to be in and everyone is just so excited, and you can’t beat running through the lights,” said Alyssa Lehouiller of Longmeadow.
“It’s a fun race because it brings out the holiday spirit,” Laurie Mezzetti, also of Longmeadow, added. “It’s like a kick off for the holiday season, so I’m just looking forward to being here and seeing the lights and getting into the spirit, which we all need at this time.
Spirit of Springfield President Judy Matt told Western Mass News that this is the 16th year the run is taking place. Registration opened in September, and she said that spots filled up within a day.
Matt also said she is grateful for all the help Bright Nights has received to make the race happen.
“Special thank you to Springfield College students,” she said. “We have the tennis team here and they’re helping us with everything from stuffing bags and so-on. They’re great volunteers. We’re so lucky to have them and a bank of them, whenever we get to do these activities.”
The Springfield College women’s tennis team volunteered to pack runners’ bags and help with check in. They told us that they were happy to be able to help out the community.
“This year, we’re just trying to be more decorated and everything, just really enjoy it a lot,” said Springfield College student Gabby Heaney-Secred. “I’m really glad our whole team is able to be a part of this. It’s just a great experience, being able to help out the community.”
The run will head through the Seussland arch to the poinsettia candles display at Picknelly Field, then back down through the aquatic gardens for a total of more than 3 miles.
After runners crossed the finish line, they enjoyed a catered soup dinner while winners are announced.
The park was closed Monday and will be again on Tuesday for regular Bright Nights customers while the race and cleanup is underway. The park is set to reopen for regular customers on Wednesday.
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