Photos and images courtesy of Groundwork Fitness.
The City of Long Beach could soon hold the title of being home to the world’s largest glow-in-the-dark painting after artists from the Long Beach Art Exchange try to supplant the current record holder during a glow-in-the-dark-themed 5K event September 13.
The Dance + Run Long Beach 5K, which is being hosted by Groundwork Fitness, is expected to draw nearly 2,000 runners, walkers and dancers to the world record attempt. However, the gym’s owner, Giovanna Ferraro, is hopeful that the presence of potential Guinness World Record painting might bump that number closer to 5,000.
“My big thing is really getting the community to come together and unite and really draw attention to what we’re doing,” Ferraro said. “It’s about the stuff we’ve seen recently with the power outage, the community coming together.”
She particularly wants to shed light on the area nonprofits, notably the one that uses running as a tool to get homeless residents off the streets, Back on My Feet. Ferraro explained that if an organization like Back on My Feet existed while her dad was still alive, there’s the possibility that he wouldn’t have died homeless.
In addition to donating a portion of the proceeds to the organization, she said she wants local artists to speak with some of the success stories from Back on My Feet to inspire the final product—one she is hopeful is record breaking.
“We want these artists to have conversations with the nonprofit, listen to them talk about their mission, listen to success stories,” Ferraro said. “We’ve heard these success stories come from these people who have come from literally being on the streets and having lost everything to being back on their feet and having some normal activities in their life again. I want the artists to hear those stories and that’s going to be the inspiration for this painting.”
She said that choosing the Guinness glow-in-the-dark painting record was no accident given the downtown area’s recent issues with power outages.
Ferraro's Pine Avenue gym was one of the businesses affected during the outages, and she used that time to help deliver waters to the elderly. She said she’s hopeful that this event can help “shed light” on the city’s ability and willingness to come together and help each other during times of need.
The previous record was set by Nissan Motor Company in March of this year, when an artist used a Nissan Leaf to paint a self portrait of the electric car on a 681.36 square foot canvas. The artist used the car’s tires to apply more than 60 liters of luminous paint to the canvas, which was stored in a pitch black air hanger at Lasham Airifield in the United Kingdom. The painting took over 61 hours to complete.
Breaking that record won't be a walk in the park. Ferraro said the specifications are still being hammered out with Guinness so the square footage and a lot of the other parameters for challenging Nissan’s record are still unknown. What she does know is that the painting will be completed by local Long Beach artists—an undetermined amount as of now—and that it must be at least three colors with every inch of the canvas covered by glow in the dark paint.
“It’s pretty drawn out, it’s not some little thing we took on here,” Ferraro said. “They’re very particular. To beat a world record it’s gotta be done precisely right, and we’re going through all the specs to make sure that not only do we challenge this world record but we beat it the night of this run.”
To make the event bigger than its predecessor, last year’s Color Rain Glow Run, Ferraro enlisted the help of Mike Shaknovich of Emissary Media Group, a member of her gym who has experience planning large events. Shaknovich has helped execute huge festivals like Coachella and Rock The Bells in the past.
The event will have musical and dancing performances both along the route of the run, which has its turnaround point near Alfredo’s Beach Shack and at the start/finish line near the lighthouse at Shoreline Aquatic Park. Shaknovich said of all the promotional and logistical issues that need to be worked out, the painting is one that he’s never had to deal with so it will produce some interesting challenges. Challenges he’s excited for.
“This is something that Gio came up with last week and I didn’t expect to come upon these new logistics that come into play,” Shaknovich said. “It’s exciting, it’s a new challenge and I’m curious to see what the artists come up with, what we can pull off with it, how big we can go, but most importantly, what this can do for the community of Long Beach.”
The community, and giving back to it, has been a tenet of Ferraro before she decided to rebrand and rededicate last year’s glow run.
Her “Keep LBC Fit” community group—which will be the brand of shirts given out to registrants for the 5K– has embraced implementing fitness at the same time as engaging the community it aims to give back to.
She’s hopeful that this year’s event will not only be bigger and better but more Long Beach and that by bringing the community together, she can highlight both fitness and the community’s coming together during the recent power outages.
“Keep LBC Fit was designed with the very sole purpose to give back to the community,” Ferraro said. “We want to supply activities, events that are activated in the community by some sort of exercise and really inspire people to keep healthy but also make it really fun. I want to put Long Beach on the map as a community that does come together, and for the good of the community.”
Tickets for the 5K are $35 but prices will increase on 8/20/15. The registration fee includes a racing bib, glow stick and a Keep LBC Fit t-shirt. Tickets can be purchased at keeplbcfit.com or at the Groundwork Fitness website.
Groundwork Fitness owner Giovanna Ferraro (left) with Dance + Run organizer Mike Shaknovich (right).