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Summer Guide 2013: Electric Run mixes exercise, EDM

Speedway hosts rave-influenced race for charity

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If anything can be learned from watching tired, played-out and annoyingly predictable horror movies, it's that if you run in the middle of the night, you will trip and fall so an axe murderer, whose pace is similar to that of a THC-ridden snail, will miraculously catch up to you and ... cue the gory details. In the real world, the likelihood that you may have a crazed killer out to get you on an evening jog is pretty slim. Still, going for a run in the middle of the night is not the greatest idea — unless it's complete with music, extensive light shows and a festival-style afterparty.

Happening July 26 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, the all-ages Electric Run is more of a live show than road race. Participants are encouraged to let out their inner glow-child by dressing in costumes, accessories or anything else that glows, sparkles, shines or would entertain a feline for hours. It's also the most elaborate glow-in-the-dark art installation the country has ever seen. The 5K run is lit by neon tracks and amplified by DJs placed around the course to soundtrack the journey with EDM, Electric Dance Music.

Though each show is unique to its hosting venue, each Electric Run features five to seven areas where participants can explore electric worlds created by the event's organizers. Ranging from vibrant to ethereal, each world will have its own identity through varying lights and music — whether it be from the dancing patterns on the walls, ceilings and floors of a tunnel or the glowing arches, columns and neon trees which all change colors in time with the music. At the finish line, participants are greeted by an afterparty celebration to close out the night with a DJ and, of course, more lights.

For the competitive (or noncompetitive) types, you should know the Electric Run is completely untimed. From start to finish, your journey through each world will be at your own pace. So, feel free to walk, crawl or cupid shuffle your way to the finish line. There will also be darker areas along the course that are meant to reset the senses before you make it to the next world. (Don't complain when you notice there isn't constant visual stimulation during your trek.)

Though the inaugural run was in Orange County, Calif., less than a year ago, a quick peek at the map on Electric Run's website shows future locations from coast to coast, with new cities added frequently.

The price of registration not only includes a T-shirt, L.E.D. bracelet and glow accessories, but also goes to a to-be-announced charity.

Nighttime workout, party and philanthropy? What's not to love?

Electric Run

$45-$65. 8:50 p.m., July 26. Charlotte Motor Speedway. www.electricrun.com/charlotte.

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