Local residents, Rusty Hughes and Ammon Arave, wanted to have their fun in the desert but it’s hot during the day and dark at night so they took those challenges and, together, developed a solution called the One80light. The light was an instant hit with the folks in Mesquite and they decided to create an event.
The Mesquite Department of Athletics and Leisure Services along with the One80light organization held the first annual Light up the Night 5k & 10K Run. The event was held on Friday, May 5, at the Mesquite Sports & Events Complex as part of the Mesquite Days festivities and was a huge success with over a hundred runners joining them for their maiden run.
The trail of lit runners was quite impressive in the dark of the night and the oohs and aahs from the spectators was almost deafening as they watched the runners disappear over the first hill. The line of runners looked like a giant centipede with bright white legs sprawling far to the sides of the body of people running the race.
Coming in first place in the 5K run was 32-year-old Omar Vallejo completing the run in just 22:29. Ironically it was his two younger siblings coming in the second and third place spots. Jairo is the middle brother and finished in second place with a time of 25:10 and Carlos, the youngest brother just seconds behind in third.
The event was something spectacular to see and according to Nick Montoya, director of Athletics and Leisure services for the City of Mesquite, something he would like to see become an annual event. “Just like the first color run held earlier in the year, events like this bring out new faces and bring about new ways to have fun. We’re always striving to find new ways to reach out to the community and sponsor events that bring people together like this one,” said Montoya. “This is certainly something that we’re going to keep in the works for future Mesquite Days events.