OLD TOWN — If you've seen an astronaut around town lately, don't be alarmed: He comes in peace ... with an offering of shoes.
The "Transcendronaut" is the official mascot of the upcoming Midnight Odyssey Run that launches from Fleet Feet Sports in Old Town Friday night.
Runners will be equipped with glow bracelets as they take off on the three-mile path lit up by glow sticks and an LED laser light show.
"We love production. We love giving runners a new experience," said Dave Zimmer, owner of Chicago's three Fleet Feet locations.
It's the third time in the store's history that it's hosted a late-night run.
Friday night's event will also include an unveiling of Brooks' new Transcend shoe during an afterparty at Fleet Feet, 1620 N. Wells St.
While temperatures are expected to be a bit higher than the 15 degrees below zero that Chicago experienced earlier this week, lows of 17 degrees are expected.
There will be a station with hot chocolate at the turn of the run.
The store will have searchlights out front to signal runners home, and the inside of the store will be wrapped in giant foil in keeping with the space theme.
The free event will also include beer and food at Fleet Feet after the event during a space-themed after party.
"More than anything else the idea of transcending, feeling something different, was the whole idea of this event," Zimmer said.
As part of the event, Brooks is donating $10,000 to a charity-to-be-named to benefit the city's running community.
Zimmer said he expected about 200 people to turn out for the event.
The only other night runs hosted by Fleet Feet came in 2009 for the launch of an Under Armour running shoe and in 2011 to mark the lunar eclipse at exactly 1:21 a.m.
"There's a lot of hardcore runners in Chicago," Zimmer said.