Building Community Capacity
Kathy Higgins never misses a Night Owl Run.
Through hail storms and knees surgery, the Livingston pharmacist has participated in the run, which is now in its 9th year. Like many who participate in the Night Owl Run, Higgins isn’t a competitive runner. She continues to participate for the sense of community and the fun.
“It’s a fun fall event for the community,” Higgins said. “It’s a nice way to say goodbye to summer.”
The Night Owl Run takes place the first Friday after Labor Day and grown to 345 participants. As more people signed up for the run, the event’s organizers realized a need for professional timing services. The Community Foundation provides money for the Night Owl Run to hire Competitive Timing, a company that times the run. Prizes are given to participants in many different categories, including best owl costume.
“Using competitive timing makes the race much more desirable for runners compared to someone with a stopwatch and helps eliminate human error” said Jacqueline Isaly, Park County Health Department director. “As the race grows it is unrealistic to be able to keep track of the runners without a timing company.”
Night Owl was the brainchild of Kristen Galbraith, but recently she’s teamed up with the Park County Health Department to promote the run and community health.
All of the proceeds from the run are donated back to the community. In the nine years the run has existed, Night Owl has donated $47,250 back to Park County. “This event is a true representation of community wellness, integrating physical activity in the great outdoors, community connection, volunteerism, giving back and gathering together to eat and celebrate one another,” the grant application reads.
The 4.06-mile course begins on the Old Boulder Road west of Swingley Road and ends at the Owl Lounge in downtown Livingston.