Local Race sets Sportsman Lake Park aglow | The Cullman Tribune

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Race sets Sportsman Lake Park aglow

Runners take part in the fifth annual Rock and Glow 5K Run/Walk Friday night at Sportsman Lake Park (Nick Griffin for The Tribune)

CULLMAN - Sportsman Lake Park was a little brighter Friday night, as Cullman County Parks and Recreation (CCP&R) hosted its fifth annual Rock and Glow 5K Run/Walk, with more than 200 runners turning out to participate. Music was played across the course and from the main stage near the starting line, giving the event a fun, laid-back atmosphere.

CCP&R Director Doug Davenport said he is always happy to put on Rock and Glow, because it’s a good way to raise money for the park while also having a good time.

“Everything we make from this goes back into the park, whether that’s upgrading playground equipment or anything else,” Davenport said. “It’s fun for the staff and a great way to add a little extra revenue for the park so we can do some things we wouldn’t normally have the money in the budget to do.”

This year’s weather was just about perfect for running, but that hasn’t always been the case for the Rock and Glow run. Davenport and his staff were able to take advantage of the great weather and some new park upgrades to put on the best event possible.

“I think we had 162 sign up early and we usually get 30-50 that’ll sign up on the night so maybe we’ll have 200-250, something like that. I think our second year we had about 400, but these things kind of come in cycles. If we make it through tonight it’ll be the first year that it hasn’t rained,” Davenport said. “We added our cornhole boards out here and bought this 12-foot beachball for people to play with. It’ll be the first time we have a race on the new track that we got with grant money from Auburn Obesity (Auburn University Food Systems Institute Obesity Working Group). They gave us $33,000 and we extended the walking track almost a mile so we’re working to get it to where we don’t have to go outside the park but we’re still having to go outside just a little bit.”

There were several competitive runners that were in fourth gear from the starting gun, but the main purpose of the night was for families and friends to come out, have fun and be active together.

“We usually put the people that are really serious up front and they’ll be able get their times and everything, but this is more family-oriented. That’s why we call it a run/walk/dance event. It’s just something where more or less people can just come out, play with a beachball and have a great afternoon.”

The race’s Overall Winner/First Male Finisher was Aaron Brown (17:28). The First Female Finisher was Marlena Ramirez (21:49).

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