Lights, Fun and Community in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

May 23, 2024, Department, by Courtney O’Kray

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Darkness couldn’t hold a candle to the vibrant energy at the Glen Ellyn (Illinois) Park District’s third annual 2K Glow Run/Walk on Saturday, April 20. Ackerman Park transformed into a dazzling wonderland, awash with colorful lights that attracted participants of all ages and fitness levels.

The district envisioned an engaging, welcoming event that celebrated the joy of shared movement outdoors. It was also a chance to liven up the spring calendar and connect residents with the park district and their neighbors in a fresh, exciting way.

The 2K Glow Run/Walk is one of three short-distance races offered throughout the year, complementing an existing program of longer runs. A shorter course allows families with young children or walkers to participate comfortably, and it creates a less intimidating atmosphere for new runners, so everyone feels welcome to join in the fun.

Glowing stations sprinkled throughout the route enhanced the magical ambiance, making it an unforgettable experience under the night sky. But the fun didn’t stop at the finish line! A pre-race and post-race glow party with a live DJ kept the energy high long after the race. The aim was to create lasting memories for everyone.

By offering inclusive activities like the Glow Run/Walk, the park district strengthens bonds and builds a stronger sense of togetherness. The event’s success underscores the enduring power of parks and recreation in promoting resident well-being and belonging.

Participants left with more than just glowing accessories; they took home cherished memories and a renewed sense of connection. The park district is already planning next year’s race, aiming to make the 2K Glow Run/Walk an annual tradition — a vibrant beacon of spring that illuminates the community spirit.

Courtney O’Kray is Superintendent of Marketing for the Glen Ellyn (Illinois) Park District