Get The Latest News!

Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.

WOOD RIVER – The Alton Road Runners Club’s annual Summer Running Series came to an end Saturday night at East Alton-Wood River High School’s Memorial Stadium track with a bit of a change.

The series-ending Dash-N-Splash event became the Dash-N-Glow this year due to the closing of the Wood River Aquatic Center across the street from Memorial Stadium; the traditional pool party that has ended the series couldn’t take place due to the closure, so participants in the event were given glowing hoops, necklaces and other items that provided a colorful end to the series, which also consists of the Alton Memorial Family Run at Glazebrook Park in Godfrey and the Hit-N-Run Pee-Wee run at Gordon Moore Park in Alton.

The goal of the series is to introduce kids to various types of running – cross-country running, road racing and track running.

“We had to switch the last one up from a splash to a glow because of the pool closing,” said Road Runners Club president Russ Colona. “We tried to make it fun for the kids, getting them things that will glow in the dark; I see everyone walking out of here smiling and having a good time – that’s what we want.

“We introduce them to running and have some fun with it.”

Having to switch up the format some because of the pool’s closing was a bit disappointing, Colona admitted. “I know the kids love that pool, but what can you do?,” Colona said.

This year’s event also had a change from a Sunday evening to a Saturday night. “I did that so we could stay up a little later,” Colona said. “If we did it on a Sunday, I was afraid some people wouldn’t come because it’s a Sunday night; we have people traveling from far out so they could get home.

“I’d like to do it maybe where we could turn the lights (at Memorial Stadium) on and run in the dark – that’d really be fun.”

Article continues after sponsor message

Overall, the event was a success at every level. “Our volunteers did a fantastic job this year,” Colona said. “We’ve got this thing down to a science – we put it together, do it and everybody has a fun time.”

The event consists of runs of various distances for kids; children aged 7-10 and 11-14 had half-mile runs, while those 6 and under had a quarter-mile run and those 15 and over had mile runs; the runs are non-competitive runs but conducted like each event was part of a track meet.

The entire series is a bargain for those taking part; the fee to run all three races is $5. “Everybody has a fun time; that’s what it’s all about,” Colona said. “They get free T-shirts, a medal (for running in all three events), three ribbons, hot dogs, doughnuts and raffle prizes.

“That’s what we do – we want to make it fun, introduce them to running and make it a family thing. To be a runner, you have to have that family support – it takes a lot of time and energy. You have to spend a lot of time at this (to be successful). You have to get up early every Saturday (for meets), watch what you eat; sometimes you have to eat suppers late and breakfasts early.”

In the end, the series is much fun for those taking part. “I think these kids have a great time doing this,” Colona said.

For information on other Road Runners events, visit

More like this:

Jul 7, 2016 | 20 YEARS: Summer Running Series has lasting impact on kids, annnual Pee-Wee Run is Sunday

Aug 3, 2015 | Alton Road Runners Club's Summer Series closes with Sunday event

Jul 11, 2016 | Hit-N-Run Pee-Wee Run attracts 160 participants, exposes youngsters to running

Aug 2, 2016 | 20TH ANNIVERSARY: Alton Road Runners Club Dash-N-Splash once again big success

Jun 21, 2018 | Summer Running Series begins, first event showcases Glazebrook Park beauty