A number of Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community families took part in the Scottsdale Neon Splash Dash, held at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on the night of Saturday, May 11. The event, a night-time 5K run/walk, drew close to 5,000 participants.
The Neon Splash Dash is a nationally organized running team event held in different cities across the country. Participants wear special white T-shirts and their own fun fluorescent accessories as they run, walk or dance along a course that features a series of “Glow Zones,” where they are sprayed with different colors of “Super Intense U.V. Glow Water” that glows brightly beneath special ultraviolet lights. Music keeps the participants going as they make their way along the course. At the conclusion of the event, the After Glow Party features music, food and black light.
As families, groups of friends and individuals arrived, they put on white Neon Splash Dash T-shirts and their choice of black or neon-colored shorts or pants. Many came in full neon attire, wearing tutus, neon face paint, neon socks and accessories. Participants gathered on the soccer fields at Salt River Fields, where they enjoyed pre-party music, food and informational booths. As dusk approached, the first wave of 1,000 people were released to take to the course.
The runners, walkers and joggers made their way through parking lots, the stadium, and more parking lots around the stadium. The first Glow Zone was yellow; as participants ran through, they got sprayed or splashed with the non-toxic yellow Glow Water. The following Glow Zones were blue, green and pink. The neon glowing was enhanced with ultraviolet lights as people ran through the Glow Zones.
At the finish line, participants were able to hang out and dance into the night as a DJ played pop hits from the 80s to today. At the Neon Splash Dash photo booths, people took photos of themselves and their families and friends to post on their social-media pages.
“I really enjoyed the Neon Splash Dash, as it was the first night running event I participated in,” said Community member Macelyn Enas, who ran with friend and fellow Community member Kevin Makil. “I wanted to try it, especially since Michelle Long from the Fitness Center had offered Community members [the chance] to participate for free.
“The crowd was fun and in the spirit, displaying neon-painted faces and attire,” Enas continued. “The evening was just right, whether you ran or walked the 5K with your family or friends. We ran around and inside Salt River Fields. The glowing trail of people who carried their inflatable bams or light-up novelties was pretty cool to see. At the splash zones, everyone was drenched in the Glow Water, including myself. It was a fun run, as the crowd was laid back and enjoyed the night—no time chips or people set on being the first runner to the finish line. I loved it and will definitely participate again next year with my family.”