The Electric Run is a 5K race benefiting Smile Train, a charity dedicated to giving every child born with a cleft the opportunity to live a productive life. This isn't just your average footrace, however. The Electric Run asks participants to dress up with glowsticks and LED lights and whatever else will light up the night sky around Candlestick Park and navigate a neon-colored course that ends with runners crossing the playing field in the stadium and enjoying a mini-concert.
San Francisco 49ers' Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley is the official race starter and host for Saturday night's run, and he took a few minutes to talk to us about the Electric Run, Smile Train, and—of course—football.
What interested you about getting involved with the Electric Run?
Well they approached me and asked if I'd be interested in being part of it. The more I read, the more I liked. With the proceeds going to Smile Train, it's excellent. The work they do is amazing: they do 343 surgeries every single day.
What exactly are your duties at the Electric Run?
I'll be the official race starter; the host. I'm out there getting people excited about the race and having a great time.
Are you planning on getting dressed up like all the runners?
We'll see what we have planned. I haven't set anything in stone yet, but I'll probably come up with something.
How do you think 5K's like the Electric Run, the Color Run, etc. promote a healthy and athletic lifestyle in a different way than normal race events?
I think the monotony of working out sometimes gets to be a drag. Anytime you have an event like this when you have people getting out and being active, it benefits everybody. It's really fun to get outside and get moving. So that, coupled with the event they put on, and that Smile Train is involved, is what makes it a very fun and cool event. My girlfriend just ran in the Rock N' Roll half marathon in the city. Anything that's a little competitive brings out a little more fun in people.
Do you, the Electric Run, and Smile Train have a fundraising goal from this event in mind?
I'm not sure. As much as we can get! I know there's over 10,000 people registered, and you can still sign up on the website even up to the day before the race. People can check out electricrun.com and smiletrain.org for more information!
Surely, you could be working out for next season or relaxing on the beach right now...what makes you want to take time out of your off season to do something cool like this?
Well, we are here at the facility about six hours a day during the off season working out and getting treatments. A lot of the guys are in the area and we're here during the weekends, so instead of sitting on the couch or barbecuing, I'd rather get out there and do something like this that I'm excited to be a part of.
Okay, rapid fire football round: Favorite moment as a 49er?
Winning the NFC Championship game. And the lowest was losing the Super Bowl the next time we played.
Preference for the NFL draft? (Tonight at 5:00 p.m. PST on NFL Network).
No. I know we have a very loaded roster with a lo of veterans, so anyone who comes in is really going to have to bust their butts.
Going back to the Super Bowl this year?
That's the goal. Every year going forward now is win the Super Bowl or bust. It's a disappointing season if we don't win.