Glow in the Park race will go on, but must share stadium

Plans to hold a night time running race in May are back on track in South Bend.

City officials today took a vote of confidence in the Night Moves Glow in the Park 5-K, some two and a half weeks after they publicly considered revoking the race permit.

“The local sponsors did give us a commitment in writing that they are in fact sponsors of this event,” said Assistant City Attorney Cheryl Greene.

The city’s first concern was about incorrect information originally listed on the race webpage. For instance, the charitable sponsor initially named has dropped out—while the Humane Society of St. Joseph County has signed on.

“And I believe in giving people second chances, you know people make judgments very quickly about people and I think that's unfortunate,” said Humane Society Director Dr. Carol Ecker. “So I think it's going to go. I think he's trying very hard to make it go, and he's had some bumps along his way, who hasn't had some bumps along his way.”

The original webpage even listed the City of South Bend as a sponsor—which the city wasn’t.

The city’s second concern was consumer protection. “In the past, what he had done when he cancelled an event, rather than refund, he had allowed participants to go to another race sponsored by his organization (in another city), which may have not been convenient to the participants,” said Cheryl Greene.

The City of South Bend has since put race organizer Dean Reinke on the record as promising to provide runner refunds should he cancel the event.

“I’ve been around for a long time and if you talk to people about me, I’m probably the most optimistic guy in the world and really with the support we’ve had really, no hard feelings,” said Reinke by telephone from his home state of Florida.

Reinke did admit to feeling some confusion today when NewsCenter 16 informed him what else happened at the South Bend Board of Public Works meeting Tuesday morning.

The city approved a permit to let another group hold another event at the same place and same time as the race. That place is Coveleski Stadium. The move means that Reinke’s race athletes would share the facility with thousands of participants in a massive pub crawl.

Reinke wasn’t sure how he felt about that and reserved comment for now.

The pub crawl is part of efforts to set a Guinness World Record in South Bend for the largest pub crawl. Organizers anticipate 5,000 pub crawl participants.

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