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Night run will set DL aglow

Last year’s Illuminight 5k in Fargo was a success with more than 900 runners and walkers. SoleMOTION is bringing the same event to Detroit Lakes this summer, with the help of the Kiwanis Club. SUBMITTED PHOTO1 / 3
Illuminight 5k participants are encouraged to wear glowing rings, necklaces and hair fixtures to add to the fun of running at night. The races usually have prizes for best costumes as well. SUBMITTED PHOTO2 / 3
Getting their glow on: Illuminight 5k runners are encouraged to wear anything that glows during the race. Detroit Lakes’ run will be June 21, the first day of summer. SUBMITTED PHOTO3 / 3

It’s time to get your glow on.

The Detroit Lakes Kiwanis Club is bringing a new kind of 5k to Detroit Lakes this summer — one that’s getting glowing reviews in other locations.

On June 21, the first day of summer, people will be running through the nighttime streets of Detroit Lakes in the Illuminight 5k.

“The Kiwanis Club of Detroit Lakes was looking for a community event we could bring to Detroit Lakes,” Kiwanis President Carrie Johnston said. “Illuminight 5k gives our members a chance to volunteer while bringing a unique event to DL.”

When Bill Schalow quit his job with Microsoft, he decided to start his own company, soleMOTION, in the spring of 2013.

“As I searched for some ideas of a run that was not currently being hosted in our area,” he said, “I came across a couple of events that use this concept. I ran with the concept and added my own twists to build the brand.”

So he branded the name Illuminight and is building a fun way to get active and raise funds for non-profits.

“I’m getting back into what I love,” he said of organizing running events.

His company works with non-profits to help them host a fun and profitable event. He has several running events scheduled for this year besides the Detroit Lakes one.

“Our goal is not 50 events a year. Instead six to 10 events a year and do them well,” he said.

During his first Illuminight 5k event in Fargo last year, Schalow said he was hoping for 500 participants. Instead about 900 registered, with about 1,000 hitting the streets. (Kids in strollers and such need not register.)

With the proven success, family friend and Kiwanis member Lynn Hummel approached Schalow about bringing the event to Detroit Lakes. Schalow was on board.

Because the 5k will be held at night, glowing necklaces, rings, hair pieces, etc. are highly encouraged to make it even more fun. That is the point of illuminating the night, after all.

Schalow also provides a light tunnel for runners to hang out in with music and a light show.

Everyone who registers for the run will receive a free T-shirt and some glow-wear to start the race.     

“Women are the ones who want to go out and put some lights on and have fun,” Schalow said of the 68 percent ratio of women signing up for the runs. “Then they drag their husbands and boyfriends.”

He said the runs aren’t timed because it’s more about having fun than placing. They have had prizes for best costumes in the past, though.

Walkers are welcome, and encouraged, to participate as well.

The June 21 run in Detroit Lakes will start at 9:48 p.m. at Peoples Park behind Zorbaz. There will be music before and after the run, the light tunnel, hanging luminaries and more.

The route will travel past the beach, up Washington Avenue, past Sanford Clinic and over to the high school track to loop around and end back at Peoples Park. There will be barriers and volunteers to keep runners safe on the dark streets.

Not only is the event a fun and unique one to the area, it supports the children of Becker County, which is the mission of Kiwanis Club.

“This will be a fundraiser for our children’s fund but also a great way for the public to see what Kiwanis is all about,” Johnston said. “We love what Bill and his company, SoleMOTION, stand for. We all enjoy having fun, being fit, spending time with friends and giving back to the community.”

Cost for the June 21 Illuminight 5k increases as the date gets closer, beginning at $37 for individuals before May 14 and up to $43 the day of the event. Cost is cheaper for teams of four ($34 to $40 per runner).

For more information on the run or to register, visit

“Kiwanis is ‘glowing’ with excitement for June 21,” Johnston said.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.