First annual Light Up Columbus run racks up 700 registrations

acarlson@ledger-enquirer.comApril 16, 2014 

More than 50 businesses around town, including PMB Broadcasting, have illuminated their buildings blue for Autism Awareness Month and in support of the first annual Light Up Columbus.

SPECIAL TO THE LEDGER-ENQUIRER

You’ve probably noticed the blue.

All month long, businesses around Columbus — doctors’ offices and pharmacies and broadcasters — have illuminated their buildings at night to show support for Light Up Columbus, a new glow run this Friday supporting Autism Speaks.

“At first it started off as a simple 5K,” said race director Kimberly Kapacziewski. “... At first we were just going to have some glow neckalces and a 5K. And then it kind of grew.”

Kapacziewski, an instructor for Stroller Strong Mom’s fitness classes, is a frequent participant in Columbus’ many fundraising runs.

“We thought it might be our turn to give back to the community,” she said.

April is Autism Awareness Month. The timing is no accident.

Kapacziewski’s son was diagnosed with autism a few years ago. She said the diagnosis, which offers few certainties, can be a “lonely place.”

One of her goals is “to offer an area where families can come and know the community embraces them.”

As of Tuesday, Light Up Columbus has registered 700 people for its 1K, 5K and 10K races.

The evening’s activities will be held in conjunction with Uptown’s weekly outdoor concert. (A Journey cover band takes the stage.)

Carmike will be serving blue popcorn all night, and many glowing accessories will be for sale. Almost every part of all three racing courses will be highlighted with — yes — blue.

“If it glows blue, we have it,” Kapacziewski said.

One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to the national advocacy organization Autism Speaks. Light Up plans to be back next year, and the year after.

Kapacziewski said that when she first met with Big Dog and Uptown about organizing a race, they told her she’d be lucky to break even. “And I turned to both of them when they said that and said, ‘Challenge accepted.’”

IF YOU GO

Where: Uptown Columbus, 1104 Broadway.

When: 8 p.m. Friday

More info: $25-45. lightupcolumbus.org.

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