bright nights 5k

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Less than 24 hours after more than a foot of snow came down in Springfield, runners weren’t letting it stop them from running in the bright nights 5 k road race.

Most people would rather stay warm inside in weather like tonight.

But for the avid runners, and those with the holiday spirit, the snow and cold wasn’t going to stop them.

The 14th Annual 5K Road Race at Bright Nights kicked off Tuesday night after a delay following Sunday and Monday's snowstorm.

Pete Krupczak, the director of Open Space explained how the parks department worked hard in the hours leading up to the shotgun going off.

"It took a tremendous effort from our staff to remove the snow, put down sand and salt for the runners. Our guys worked very hard, all day long, yesterday and today and it’s a tribute to our staff here in the parks department that did a great job," Krupczak said.

Judy Matt with the Spirit of Springfield told Western Mass News that they always prepare for the possibility of rain or snow day.

That’s why the race kicked off Tuesday night, although originally scheduled for Monday.

"The park did an extraordinary job of cleaning it and making it safe for the runners and getting it right down to the pavement. So they’re going to have quite a night tonight with the beautiful snow," Matt said.

The snow, nowhere to be found on the roadway itself.

But runners, like James Gauthier from Springfield and Laurie Wetzel from Westfield, said they were ready for it regardless.

"I was hoping it would be last night in the snow. It would’ve been really nice!" Gauthier said.

"It was colder last year, it’s not that bad this year at all," Wetzel noted.

Matt said it’s that spirit that makes the event so enjoyable, and for the parks department, important to make sure it goes on without a hitch.

“It’s not really something that’s a competition, they just come to have a good time and you’ll see the costumes and so forth, it’s all a good time," Matt explained.

“It’s such a great race, Judy and her staff at the Spirit of Springfield do a fantastic job that it’s incumbent upon us to do our job," Krupczak said.

Bright Nights were closed yesterday and today because of the planned race, but Matt said it will be back open again tomorrow starting at 5 p.m.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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