Photos by Tim Fitzwater
The milestone 10th Annual Torchbearers AkRun & Crawl was held on Saturday May 21, 2016. For the second year in a row, the event was held in the Merriman Valley, and for the first time ever, the event was held "After Dark," incorporating glow-in-the-dark elements along the course.
This high-energy event kicked off with a 5K that started from the front of BCG & Co. Runners were taken along the scenic Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, which was illuminated with LED lights, bright flashing balloons, and glow sticks that lined the course. In addition, all runners were given neon glow accessories, including necklaces and bracelets.
It was a cool spring evening, and the sunset provided a perfect backdrop to kick off the night. DJ Garrick Black provided music to get the participants amped up for the run. AkRun & Crawl Committee member Patrick Bravo gave announcements, and introduced special guest Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan to provide remarks.
Torchbearers President Nicole Mullet also spoke to thank the runners, and soon enough, the horn sounded and the runners started on the course! With thoughts of cold adult beverages, as well as cheers from volunteers and beats from DJ Ben Fulkman, all of the runners made their way across the finish line. The athletes’ efforts were rewarded with bananas and water (provided by Giant Eagle) to help with their recovery before moving on to the next phase of the night.
A banner welcoming runners to the bars!
The next portion of the night was the bar crawl. This year, a total of 5 bars were along the crawl path, including The Corner Bar, The Lazy Gator, Shots, Woody's Tavern, and the starting point, Johnny J's. The participants were given special custom mugs that gave them drink specials for the night. Johnny J’s provided free (and delicious) burgers, hot dogs and sides. Drink specials were available at each bar, including "birthday cake" shots in honor of the "10th birthday" of the AkRun & Crawl.
This year’s AkRun & Crawl event brought in a record high number of registrations (454)! A big thank you definitely goes out to the event co-chairs, Michael Evans and Brian Berg, for a successful turnout.
We also would like to thank our sponsors: Brouse McDowell, Giant Eagle, Riverview Property Management and Yoga Bliss.
Torchbearers looks forward to seeing everyone at next year’s 11th Annual Torchbearers AkRun & Crawl!