LivingSocial’s Glow in the Dark 5k Dance Party

Hello friends – hope you all had nice weekends (or are still enjoying them with the holiday today).

On Friday night, Matt and I had the fun opportunity to attend a new and different sort of race – LivingSocial’s Glow in the Dark 5k Dance Party.


LivingSocial was nice enough to give us both a press pass to attend the event for free. Matt was pretty pumped about being a “VIP.” ;)


So, what is a Glow in the Dark 5k Dance Party, you ask? Well, it’s a night race where everyone running wears all black along with a huge assortment of glow sticks. Then after, there’s a big dance party. Cool, right?


LivingSocial partnered with MercyCorps for the race to use some of the proceeds to literally “light up the night” around the world, just like the glow sticks in the race did here in DC. Pretty symbolic, I thought! Here’s what the flyer they gave us in our race packets said:

There are 2.3 billion people in the world without access to reliable electricity using hazardous kerosene lanterns for light. A portion of the proceeds from this race will go to 1,000 safe, bright, durable, and renewable energy solar lanterns from d.light design, which will be delivered by Mercy Corps to schools in the villages of Hargeisa, Borama, Burco, and Erigavo, all very poor communities in Somalia with no access to electricity.

You can learn more about their efforts at

Matt and I got there early to check in and get our bibs and race t-shirts. Check in was really quick and easy.


Then, we put on a million glow sticks. Everyone running the race got a t-shirt and a few glow sticks as part of their race fee, but most everyone seemed to also have bought extra glow sticks to up the ante. There were some really awesome glow stick wigs, glow shirts, etc. Matt and I stuck with glow bracelets and necklaces. :)



The only thing that wasn’t awesome about this race was that they ushered everyone outside REALLY early – like over an hour before the race started. It was freezing cold outside on Friday night so everyone was basically dancing around and eagerly awaiting the race start. If we did this race again, we would a) bring friends, b) go to happy hour first, and c) go outside at the last minute possible. :) That said, it was really cool looking outside with everyone lighting up the night.



Matt stayed warm with a little glow stick running man. :)


Finally, it was time. Ready… set… glow!


Since we had a press pass, Matt and I were in the first corral and got to start the race first. They had about 9 waves so that it wouldn’t be too crowded out on the course.

We had a great time once we started moving and warmed up! It was cool seeing everyone’s glow outfits and fun to run in the dark, too. There were a few fun spray paint glow stations, some loud music, and also a couple of these cool “glow tunnels” along the course. Love this picture!


Matt and I were feeling speedy – it felt really good to be out and about and stretching out our legs. We ended up finishing in just over 24 minutes for about an 8 min/mile. Yay!

After we were done, we headed back in to the DC Armory, where the dance party was getting ready to begin. Also as part of the race fee, everyone over 21 got one beer post-race. Can’t say I’m a big Bud Light fan, but one doesn’t turn down free beer – we earned it!


Matt and I stayed for a couple hours for the dance party, too. It was actually really fun! The glow sticks made it all look really cool, and everyone was hitting balloons around and dancing.



Thanks again to LivingSocial for having us join in on the fun, and for their charity efforts around the world. LivingSocial seems like such a fun company to work for – they always have all sorts of awesome adventure events going on. Previously, we’ve purchased their adventure deals for Night Kayaking on the Potomac and White Water Kayaking + Wine Tasting!

I have a call shortly with my UNC advisor to talk about my masters paper… here’s hoping she doesn’t want me to make too many edits. Have a nice day, everyone – hope the weather is as beautiful and warm where you are as it is here in DC.


  1. 1

    The dance party sounds awesome :) Hopefully your paper/ edits go well.
    Take care.

  2. 2

    Looks like a great time! I’m glad you had fun!

  3. 3

    that looks so fun!

  4. 4

    Ever since I learned about them, I’ve always wanted to do one of these glow in the dark runs! Currently searching for the next one in our area!

  5. 5

    Wow, that sounds so cool, Anne! Mud runs and obstacle races seem to be all the rage, so maybe this type of event is the next “it” thing. :)

  6. 6

    A bunch of my hometown friends were there and loved it. I saw their photos on facebook and it looked like a bunch of fun! I didn’t realize some of the race fees went to a good cause! Love that!

  7. 7

    That is such a fun idea!!! Definitely think this should be the next “thing” I’m tired of getting wet and muddy! :)

  8. 8

    that sounds like such a fun race! i’m always a fan of dance parties :)

  9. 9

    Glad you had fun…and it is a fun place to work :)

  10. 10

    Well that’s kind of a cool idea, huh? While I don’t personally enjoy running by MYSELF at night, in a race setting and running with a bunch of friends at night sounds like a blast. Especially with glow sticks a free beer when we’re done! ;)

  11. 11

    That looks like so much fun! I’m so bummed I missed it. I was all signed up and ready to run when studying for the LSAT consumed my life and refused to let me have any fun. Now I know how great it was and hope they do it again next year! p.s. glow in the dark tape for next year

  12. 15

    What a cool race! Good luck with your advisor! I remember how stressful finishing up my dissertation was, but at least you’re almost at the end!

  13. 16

    I was there too and had so much fun! But totally agree with you…my fingers were numb before I ever got across the starting line. Good thing we had the dance party to warm things up!

  14. 18

    Whoa! The photos are so cool with all the glowing stuff!! :) Also, don’t act like that’s your first bud light ;) not your favorite? yes. but better than natty light? questionable.. ;)

  15. 20

    That looks like so much fun! Love the whole concept.

  16. 21

    How fun!! I wish I’d been in town.. who doesn’t love a good glowstick every now and again? ;)

  17. 22

    Looks like an awesome run. I love the glow tunnel pic and I would imagine that it looked way cooler seeing it in person!

  18. 23

    This seriously looks like sooo much fun! What a great idea for a night run!

  19. 24

    I did that race! It was much better going to happy hour before :)

  20. 25

    I was out on Friday night with a friend whose friend was running in that and we were all SO CONFUSED from the thirdhand explanation we’d heard. “They’re running a race? In RFK? Is it in the stadium? Are they just running around in circles? Is it in the parking lot? Is it outside? Will they fall down?” and then the friend came back and explained it and it sounded awesome :) I also spent the walk back to my car watching smiling people in glow-in-the-dark shirts go by! I’m glad you had fun! That is a cool idea.

  21. 26

    That race looked like a ton of fun! I am definitely making my next race one with a fun theme! I think it makes the experience so much more exciting.

  22. 27

    This looks like a lot of fun! Hope your call with your advisor went well!

  23. 28

    That looks like so much fun! I need to get out of the PNW in the winter…no fun running! Who doesn’t love glow sticks!!!

  24. 29

    What a cool event! A bunch of post-baccs recently did something similar and had a great time. I was home with my boyfriend the MCAT, of course.

    Hope the talk with your adviser was productive! You are so close…

  25. 30

    I would love to do that! Is it a one time thing or are they doing more throughout the East Coast?

  26. 32

    Sounds like a really cool run! I love that it turns into a dance party. How fun!

  27. 33

    This event sounds so cool! I really like that it’s fun and new without being as dangerous as some of the obstacle/mud races can be. And who doesn’t love a beer post-race, especially to kick off a glowy dance party?! SO FUN!

  28. 34

    What?! That is the coolest race EVER!!!!

  29. 35

    OMG I would *love* to do a race like that!! I hope they have one in San Francisco soon… that looks AMAZING!!!

  30. 36

    Oh, this post brought me back to Vegas! Maybe we should have worn glow necklaces for that race?! :) I recently did a glow-in-the-dark yoga thing where they handed out a bunch of glow-in-the-dark necklaces at check-in. It was really cool to see all the glowing necklaces move every which way with each new yoga move, I’m sure running with them would be cool too!

    • 37

      I’ll have to put glow in the dark yoga next on my list! And we TOTALLY should have worn glow stuff in Vegas. Why didn’t we think of that?! :)

  31. 38
    Forward Looking says

    What an awesome event! And here’s hoping your thesis advisor didn’t want too many changes…

  32. 39

    You and I clearly attended two different events! :) Actually, I agree with you on all of the points – except because my running partners and I were near the end of the corrals (and kept getting pushed further back), we never started. We were there nearly 40 minutes after the first wave started and still hadn’t gotten to go! People were finishing and coming out of the finish area into the party and we hadn’t run yet! We got cold, tired, and cranky, so we gave up. Definite bummer, as we were looking forward to the race.

    • 40

      Oh man what a bummer!! Yeah I think they should have nixed the whole wave thing and just started everyone all at once… and started at 7, not 7:30, since packet pickup ended at 6:30!

      • 41

        Based on what I’ve heard from others, I may give them a try if they do it again – if they make some changes to the start! It seemed so awesome, but we were just so frustrated waiting around and were told it would be at least another ten minutes til our “wave” got to start. But I guess that can happen in first time races!

  33. 42

    That looks like a lot of fun! I would’ve been a little afraid of tripping/falling in the dark. But I’m sure the glow sticks saved the day! Maybe a head lamp on the strobe setting would add a little disco value to the run!

  34. 43

    I wish we had seen y’all there. We were totally up front holding the sparklers. It was a fun run.

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