By Nicole Davis
Now in its 29th year, the Fast Flash 5K has grown to be a tradition for many families in and around Franklin Township. It is for Brian Dunn, who ran the 5K in high school, returned to run it in college and now that he works for the school system as an English teacher, has taken the lead in organizing this year’s event.
“My favorite part, after the race is over, a lot of people reconnect with people they haven’t seen in a long time,” Dunn said. “We have so many alumni come in, so many of their kids. It’s just a really positive experience for everyone. There’s a winner of the race, but a lot of people are just doing it for fun and afterwards everyone is just hanging out, having a snack and heading straight to the Back-to-School Bash which is right there.”
This year’s Fast Flash is July 30 an includes both a 5K and 2K run/walk which begins at 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. Those interested in registering can find more information at fteducation.org/fast-flash-5k/. Proceeds benefit the Franklin Township Education Foundation, going back into classrooms through teacher grants. Following the Fast Flash, the Back-2-School Bash will include a sport zone, photo zone, game zone, food trucks, air brush tattoos and more.
Dunn is a Franklin Central and Butler University graduate. He came back to his hometown to teach creative writing, and currently works as the English/Language Arts coordinator and an AP language instructor. He served as the cross country coach from 2012 through 2021.
“We had such a good high school cross country program,” Dunn said. “So I was able to come back and give back to the program that helped me.”
The Fast Flash usually averages between 400 and 500 participants.
“For a road race, it’s really cheap, especially when you get a T-shirt,” Dunn said. “One of the ways we make money is through sponsorships and that helps offset the cost of the shirts. But the course, one of the things people like about it is the course is flat and fast. A lot of runners come and try to get their PR, run a fast course, but it is a measured 5K. We have a great timing company that comes in and does the timing for it.”
Since Dunn now works to ensure the race is a success, he doesn’t run the full race himself anymore. He does have two sons, one who is in third grade and has now run the 2k twice.
“I usually try to sneak away just for a second and jump in the race with him so we can run together,” Dunn said. “I really think he enjoys running. (This race) is a good time for kids to experience running without the pressure of a meet. They’re just trying to finish it and afterwards, everyone gets a medal, Gatorade and then goes to the fun fest. Hopefully they’ll grow up thinking how fun running is and how supportive the running community is in general.”