Nearly 500 runners gathered under grey skies to participate in an event at the annual Racin’ in Mason 5K.
The money generated from this event fuels the Cross Country and Track boosters, according to one of the race coordinators, Mike Marotta.
“We support the program by paying assistant coaches, purchasing t-shirts for the runners, and [we also] pay for the end of the season banquets,” Marotta said.
Racin’ in Mason also funds equipment at meets, said Marotta, including tents and timing technology used at the Mason Invitational. These funds were supplemented by the one-mile Chasin’ in Mason Zombie Run, a new addition designed to attract all ages. Zombies came dressed as zombie nurses, lifeguards, and businessmen and finished their look with makeup done by volunteers.
These zombies were then dispersed throughout the course. Five or six zombies were stationed in each of five areas along the trail, according to volunteer Steve Tysl. Like in flag football, the runners carried two Mason flags which the zombies tried to snatch.
“If a participant can make it through the course with all their flags intact, they’re eligible for prizes,” Tysl said.
Should a runner lose all their flags, they may still finish the race, but are unlikely to receive any prizes. Tysl said this makes strategy a part of the race as well as speed.
Incoming eighth grader Margot King employed such strategy while being a zombie in the race.
“I would sit in the middle of [the path] and Catherine Berry hid in the woods,” King said. “I’d try to steal their flags and they’d run and Catherine would take [their flags instead].”
According to King, being a zombie is a fun opportunity to chase after friends. Race volunteers hope to see the Zombie Run gain popularity and publicity after its debut this year.
“We’re trying to work the bugs out and generate enough interest so we can do it at Halloween,” Tysl said. “The more people, the better.”
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Photo by Abbey Marshall