From Staff Reports
Every soccer team hosts fundraisers, but not every team glows in the dark and raises funds at midnight!
The West Virginia Rapids Under-12/13 soccer team is in need of uniforms and equipment and it was looking for a fundraiser to do it.
When a player’s parent mentioned a 5K race, Rapids manager Lisa Randolph added a twist: The Rapids would run a 5K at midnight and invite the community to join them.
“I thought I’d try something different,” she said. “My mother used to hold midnight runs in Summersville 10 to 15 years ago.”
Randolph has already stacked up on glow-in-the-dark body paint, necklaces and bracelets.
The race will be at Paul Cline Memorial Soccer Field and can accommodate several different age groups.
Everyone is invited to the Midnight Run for the Rapids 5K, but younger kids must be accompanied by a guardian, said Randolph.
Entrants so far run the gamut from serious runners to first-timers.
“Everybody’s goals are different,” said Randolph. “Some people are doing it just because it’s at midnight, and it’s different.
“Some people do it just to say they can finish one,” she added. “Some people come in to walk, some run, then you have serious people who are watching the clock, trying to beat their own time.”
The Midnight Run for the Rapids 5K is about having fun with the community and raising some team spirit for the soccer players, but it also serves as a spirit-boosting purpose for the Rapids team, said Randolph.
“Think about it,” she said. “When you’re in T-shirts and shorts, and you show up to play a team that’s got a good uniform, it’s a head game before you even step onto the court. We play some teams that show up and have warm-ups and the whole deal. The way you look has nothing to do with how you’re going to play, but...when you have matching uniforms and matching gear, you represent better and look more like a team.”
Rapids team member Collin Stacy, 11, agreed with Randolph.
“Uniforms will help us feel like more of a team,” he said. “All the teams we play have nice uniforms, and we should, as well.”
Stacy, who is no stranger to the 5K world, said he’s excited about the party atmosphere of the Rapids 5K.
“It will be my fourth 5K, and I’ve never done one at night,” he said. “It will be really fun, I’m sure.”
Randolph urged everyone to come out to the YMCA soccer complex Friday night and have a blast participating in a 5K and showing support for the Rapids.
Registration is tonight from 6 to 7 p.m. at the soccer field picnic shelter and prior to the race on Friday from 10:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Cost is $20 to register, and the first 50 entrants will receive a free T-shirt with glow-in-the-dark ink.
The race starts at 12 a.m. Friday night/Saturday morning.
Registration forms may be downloaded in advance at www.wvrapids.net.