By Zachary Ashburn
As the sun’s rays faded on the grounds of the Garrett Coliseum, the ultraviolet light bulbs flickered into existence and brought life to the mounds of foam being shot 20 feet into the air and onto an ecstatic and gyrating audience. Speakers on a nearby stage pumped out rhythmic pulses that seemed to send shockwaves through the crowd. Just to the side, vendors peddled their themed merchandise at elevated prices beneath white pop-up canopies. This was no ordinary 5K. It was a “Foam Glow 5k,” an event that seemed to focus more on the theatrics of glowing foam than on the actual running.
March 26 proved to be an interesting night, indeed. The electronic house duo, Taste of Bass, walked out on to a black stage and excited an already-exuberant audience. They tossed handfuls of wands, rings and all things glow in the dark. The crowd thanked them with cheers and streams of black light paint that spewed from tiny plastic bottles. These two men controlled the pulse of the night and did not let up.
If the scene was not already unique enough, a mysterious figure emerged from the parking lot and galloped straight to the beer vendor. Heads turned and phones appeared in an attempt to catch a better glimpse of this oddly dressed individual. His white unitard clung tightly to every inch of his body. An obvious white beard and wig covered the majority of his face. The white gloves and wand in his hand were outfitted with lights inside that flashed green, red, yellow and blue. Every step he took towards the source of the ultraviolet lights, the brighter his outfit would glow. Every 10 steps he took were interrupted by a 5K enthusiast hoping to take a picture with him.
“What are you?” people shouted. “A wizard!” he shouted back. “The wizard of glow! Shaboozle babooz!” The figure said while twirling his illuminated wand at them.
When the race began, this “wizard of glow” became lost in the mass of white clad runners. However, word of his appearance was not lost by those that stayed behind. “That is awesome,” some said in between laughs. “I don’t get it, but it’s funny,” others said.
After the race, Josh Jones, a member of the wizard’s group, was asked about his friend’s attire. “I don’t know exactly why he chose a wizard costume. I guess he just thought it would be funny,” Jones said. “I do know he was trying to wear as much white as he possibly could… He’s just a weird guy.”
Since Jones refused to give up the true identity of his friend, we may never know who this “wizard of glow” actually was. Whether his costume was meant to shock or entertain, it certainly had the desired effect. Smiles, gasps and laughter were abundant throughout the night. Hopefully, the “wizard of glow” will make an appearance at another 5K so we can solve this mystery.