I had a chance to speak with event organizer and DRC co-founder Matt Green about Midnight on Mars III and District Running Collective this week, and it has me pretty excited about the weekend’s events.
“Midnight on Mars was actually the official launch event of DRC. It’s how we got started,” said Green. In 2013, Green and three of his friends from college (North Carolina A&T State University) volunteered to help out with the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. The four of them really enjoyed the experience, and seeing so many people that were doing this in New York as a running community, made them think that that D.C. needed its own running collective.
“We knew there were running groups in D.C.,” he said, “but we wanted something more like a crew, where it would be ‘cool’ to run.”
So, for Green’s birthday, he and his friends decided to put together a nighttime 5K run. “We expected maybe 25 people to show up, but we ended up having over 100 people come out. That spawned District Running Collective, and Midnight on Mars is now our marquee event,” he said.
Currently, weekly runs with DRC average about 60 participants, with fitness levels from beginner to athlete status. Pacers ensure that no one is left behind, and an atmosphere of fun gets everyone involved. In addition to their weekly runs and local big races, they also engage in community service days, take group trips and even celebrate the holidays together.
What to Expect This Weekend
Home base for Midnight on Mars III will be at Gallery O on H Street NE. This Friday, July 31, beginning at 5 p.m., the space will host event attendees for networking, to pickup race packets and check out The Running Room, where vendors and a bunch of dope people who are health, fitness and running experts (and a few regular folks too) offer lots of cool things. It’s basically a “Pop-Up” for fitness.
On Saturday, Aug 1, The Running Room opens at noon, and there will be running workshops and even some fitness sessions such as a Zumba class and a Pilates class, throughout the afternoon until 6 p.m.
At 8:45 p.m., the 3-mile race begins. Runners at all levels can participate, then celebrate afterwards with food, drinks and music from 10:00 p.m. – midnight.
Check out the full details on the Midnight on Mars III website, and then sign up to join me for what is sure to be a dope time this weekend! And don’t worry, I’m not a very fast runner either 😉
See you there!
Photos courtesy of District Running Collective