Three years ago, Smithville’s assistant cross country coach, Tiffany Reed, was inspired to host a community 5K that would function as a fundraiser for the high school cross country team. While on a long run, Coach Reed, an avid runner for over two decades, thought to herself, “I’ve done a lot of races, and 5Ks are everywhere now, but I don’t know of any races that are run at nighttime under a full moon, along the shoreline of a lake!” Coach Reed took that thought, got others on board, and volunteered to serve as the race director. It wasn’t long before she came up with the name “Lunar-tic”…a play on words from the moon (lunar) and the crazy feeling of running at night (lunatic).
The Lunartic 5K is managed primarily by student athletes on the Smithville Warrior Cross Country team, under the guidance of booster club board members. These same student athletes serve at several area running events such as the Win for KCtriathlon, the Garmin Marathonand the Kansas City Marathon. From their experience in serving at many big name community races, these athlete know how to put on a quality race. They do a great job serving as course monitors along the route, making sure no one wanders off course as well as handing out water and verbally encouraging participants along the run.
The team hopes to grow the Lunartic 5k into an anticipated event for Smithville and the surrounding community. It is a fun atmosphere for everyone – perhaps because of the night time element and the organization of the event. Participants are shuttled to the start via school bus and will run a point-to-point course starting at the Smoke and Davey Trailheadand finishing at Sailboat Cove, where there is music, a number of give-a-ways, and a brief awards ceremony. The race will be chip timed.
The Smithville High School cross country team will host the third annual Lunartic 5k run/walk on Saturday, August 17, at 8:30pm on the beautiful trails of Smithville Lake. And yes, it will once again be run under a full moon! Proceeds from the race help fund a travel meet for the Smithville Warriors to the Southern Stampede in Joplin, Missouri.
Sign-up for the Lunartc 5K run/walk at www.lunartic5k.com and support the Smithville Warrior Cross Country Team.