By Darla Shelden
Late night streakers, or rather coolly dressed runners, will gather at the 8th annual Midnight Streak, a 5-K run for the arts, on Saturday, August 11 at 11 p.m. at City Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing Blvd. at State Fair Park. The theme for 2012 is “Cool-er Runnings,” inspired by the 1990s comedy film Cool Runnings about the Jamaican bobsled team.
“Midnight Streak is an important annual fundraiser for City Arts Center, which provides a family-friendly, festival environment for art enthusiasts, social joggers and walkers, and a competitive field for the more serious runners,” said Margaret Creighton, development director for City Arts Center. “It is summertime in Oklahoma, so participants should come prepared for the summer heat, but with the late night start time it should be a little cooler.”
Festivities begin at 9 p.m. and continue until midnight. OKC Weight Loss Challenge winners will be announced at 9:30 p.m., and the race begins at 11 p.m.
The event will feature live music by local reggae/ska band Sunny Side Up. There will be a “Star Party,” hosted by the Oklahoma City Astronomy Club, and a glow-in-the-dark children’s art activities tent.
“Those who have lived in this city for a while will remember that the dome on top of City Arts Center was the original Kirkpatrick Planetarium where people from all walks of life were introduced to the night sky,” said Brad Ferguson, President of the OKC Astronomy Club. “So, in a sense, the Oklahoma Astronomy Club is returning to what was originally the center of astronomy and space science education and outreach in central Oklahoma.”
“What will be visible are the constellations of summer that contain nice globular and open clusters such as the Hercules Cluster, the Wild Duck Cluster and the trifid and lagoon nebulas,” said Ferguson. “The pretty double star Albireo will be visible and maybe even the Ring Nebula in Lyra.”
Mason Carter Harvey, a 12 year old from Guthrie who participated in the 2011 Midnight Streak 1-mile run, has lost more than 85 pounds on his own over the past year. This year he’s recruiting TeamStrivefor85 members for the 5-K, which will include his entire family.
This year more than 1,500 runners are expected. Last year’s overall winner was Dustin Mettler, a 21-year-old from Duncan with a time of 15:31. The 5-K (3.1 miles) course is certified by USA Track & Field.
Race logistics are managed by OK Runner, a local family owned specialty running, walking, and lifestyle store, and chip timing will be provided by DG Productions.
“What makes this event different is that it starts at 11 p.m. and finishes at midnight,” said Don Garrett, President, DG Productions, Inc. “It has a great party atmosphere and people of all abilities participate. It is the one time that art lovers and active sport enthusiasts come together for a common cause, supporting the City Arts Center.”
The 3rd annual OKC Weight Loss challenge winners will be announced by Subway restaurant spokesperson Jared Fogle. Contest participants must be present to win.
Food and beverage vendors will be available for all attendees and post-race sandwiches and cookies will be provided by Subway for the runners.
The City Arts Center “Soaring Voices exhibition will remain open late for Midnight Streak attendees throughout the event. The exhibition features 87 contemporary ceramic works by 25 women artists from Japan.
Event sponsors include: Kirkpatrick Bank; Kirkpatrick Oil Company, Inc.; Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Oklahoma State Fair, Slice magazine, Subway; EMSA, MSSMT Investments, OK Runner; Country Club Bank – Capital Markets Group, Oklahoma Bankers Association, Scott Cleaners, United Mechanical, Wedel Rahill & Associates, CPS; Caesar Appraisal Service Inc., Cole + Reed, Crest Foods, Lee Daniels & Assoc., Oklahoma Sports & Fitness and Reid Printing Incorporated.
“This event is very professional in it’s production but very friendly to all,” said Garrett. “Participants will be able to have their finish times sent to their e-mail, facebook, twitter or texted to a phone number using new technology furnished by DG Productions. Runners should pre-register if they wish to take advantage of these features.”
Registration is $30, and includes a Dri-Fit T-shirt. Proceeds support City Arts Center’s mission to encourage artistic expression through education and exhibitions. Register online at www.cityartscenter.org or in-person at the City Arts Center.