Once it hit Oct. 1, everyone knew that it was time to get ready for Halloween. Instead of dedicating just one day, Oct. 31, people and events all over Anchorage started gearing up for a whole month of spooky and festive Halloween-themed activities.
One in particular, favored by the Anchorage running community, is the annual Zombie Half Marathon and Kids Zombie 2.5K. This race is a fun event to kick off the month that takes place every year in early to mid-October, this year landing on Saturday, Oct. 8.
This was no ordinary race. At this race, there wasn’t the average running attire a person would see at a typical road race, but instead a lot of the participants were dressed in their best zombie costumes or zombie make-up. As if running 13.1 miles wasn’t hard enough, these participants trekked through all of it looking like a zombie.
Zombie participants had to show up at Goose Lake Park Saturday morning, runners had a start time of 10 a.m. and walkers a start of 9 a.m. Regardless of the hour difference, Alaskans know that any October morning is going to be a brisk one, so most participants had to incorporate more layers.
UAA pre-major nursing student and Zombie Half Marathon participant Jessie Pierce knew it was cold, but being outdoors in Alaska is never a letdown.
“Running through the paths with all the golden leaves falling and the sun shining through was beautiful, l couldn’t have ask for a better day,” Pierce said.
Standout participants included the male overall winner Andrew Quallio with a time of 1 hour and 13 minutes, and female overall winner Denali Strabel with a time of 1 hour and 24 minutes. In addition to the top finishers, an impressive 539 participants showed up.
However, it wasn’t all about personal records and winning the race, most were like Pierce, there just to have a good time.
“A lot of people had on zombie face paint and I felt really lame for not dressing up and definitely will next year. But it was just groups of friends out there to have a good time,” Pierce said.
The Zombie Half Marathon also included a Kids Zombie 2.5K at the Kincaid Park Chalet. Even if someone wasn’t there to run, it wasn’t as extensive as a hike would be according to Anchorage Polaris K-12 School student and participant Julia Ditto.
“The course was relatively easy going, just like the Tour of Anchorage, most of the race is downhill and flat until arriving at Kincaid for a final climb,” Ditto said.
This event is held yearly, it is a fun and uplifting event to get people out and moving. For more information refer to www.anchoragerunningclub.org. Additional results can also be found on the previous website, on the event specific tab.