Run to the fun this August 3rd in Salem, Ohio, as Star Trax will celebrate it's 26th year of the Moonlight 5K run. Come and experience the thrill of a road race lined with luminaries that lead you through the quiet neighborhoods and picturesque park of Salem. Well all is not so quiet, jam to the music at the start and finish line with our popular DJ and enjoy the fresh fruit and cold water at the finish line. If this isn't enough, then come to compete for one of the over 72 trophies that will be awarded that night.
When a group of parents sat around a table discussing ways to raise money for Salem High School's running programs in 1993, little did they know that they were creating an event that would last 20 years and grow to become the premier summer race for all of northeast Ohio.
Several parents from that group had attended a 5K night run in Mercer, Pennsylvania, the year before; and they decided that with a little luck and a lot of work, they could pull off an even better race in Salem, Ohio.
That race was named the Star Trax 5K Night Run, and the inaugural event in the summer of 1994 hosted a total of 161 runners, exceeding the expectations of the Salem X-Tra Mile Club, which was formed by those parents and became the founding sponsor of the race. Other sponsors included many local businesses, organizations, and individuals, without whom this event would not have endured.
The early 90's came to be known as a very special time for running sports at Salem High School, highlighted by a Boys State Championship in Cross Country in 1993. All of the charter members of the Salem X-Tra Mile Club were parents of those runners. Not wanting to participate in one fundraising scheme after another, they elected to throw all their efforts into organizing and conducting the first Star Trax 5K Night Run.
The first race followed a course very similar to the current route, beginning and ending at Reilly Stadium after running through Centennial Park. It was decided to ask residents along the race course to place and light luminaries in front of their homes and those of their neighbors. This request was met with enthusiasm and excitement, got the community involved, and also provided the runners with a cheering section as they passed by. Others volunteered to place luminaries throughout the park, making the course much safer for the runners. Other volunteers stepped up to control traffic at intersections; and the Salem Police Department gave Star Trax its complete support.
The early success of the race produced enough excess funds to allow the club to support both the boys and girls track and cross country teams with pizza parties, food for team activities, and other requests for financial assistance as Salem High School's running programs grew.
If you want to see a great example of small-town America and community support and involvement in action, head to Reilly Stadium a little before dark on the night of August 6th, and experience what it's like to see over 800 runners take to the streets of Salem, Ohio. You won't be sorry.
The Salem X-Tra Mile Club is a non-profit organization that acts as a booster program to help fund the girls' and boys' cross country programs as well as the girls and boys' track programs at the Salem High School. The StarTrax 5K Night Run is the club's sole fundraiser, and from the proceeds from this race alone they are able to purchase equipment, duffle bags, t-shirts, and refreshments for the teams each year. Additionally, they have purchased and donated a fully automatic timing system, a top-of the line computer to run it, a portable sound system for the coach's use, as well as AV equipment to record and review field-event athletes' form in practices. The Club is run by parents and volunteers who meet monthly to plan the race and discuss new ways to help out the coaches and athletes.