Running can be a challenge for some people, but running away from zombies seemed to be trouble for most of the participants at the third-annual Arkansas Zombie Challenge.
The Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) held its 5K race to raise money to provide for abused, neglected, abandoned and dependent children. The participants could choose to be a runner or a zombie.
“I love zombies, and I’ve always wanted to scare people,” said Ambyr Moody, a freshman cultural and geospatial major from Russellville, who participated as a zombie.
More than 2,000 participants were expected to attend this event, even though the Komen Race For the Cure was happening on the same day.
The race was divided into sections. Children 14 and under competed from noon to 1 p.m., and adults 14 and over competed from 1-2 p.m. in a zombie-filled course.
The adult groups were broken up into sections, so the volunteers and zombies could have breaks in between each group. The children’s groups had overall winners, both for the race and a costume contest.
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“We didn’t do a timed event this year because of the Komen race; we knew there wouldn’t be as many participants,” said Genney Baker, executive director for CASA. “But we did leave the timer up, so they could time themselves if they wanted.”
There were also zombies and volunteers that had to be routed into certain areas to make the event happen. Volunteers helped guide the runners on the route, maintain the obstacles and provide water in designated areas.
Search and rescue and the local police were also on hand to help make the race as safe as possible. There were vendors at the race that sold food, items or their services. One such service offered was zombie face painting.
Some of the zombies in the race had their costume work done at this booth, but others did their own. The price at the booth ranged depending on how intricate you wanted your zombie face to be.
“I’ve been doing special effects makeup since I was 13,” Tech alumna Syrianna Linker said. “I have been doing it professionally for the last 6 years, and for the charity event the last 3.”
Many vendors and volunteers came out to support CASA and help raise money. CASA, according to its website, works in close conjunction with the Arkansas Department of Human Services and the state foster care system.
CASA is always looking for volunteers and sponsors to help with this and other events. For more information about next year’s event, go online to www.arkansaszombiechallenge.com or call 479-880-1195.
Photos by Amber Quaid