Runners and zombies and medals, oh my! On Oct. 26, Salisbury Student United Way hosted its sixth annual Halloween Zombie Infested 5K and One-Mile Walk.
Members of both Salisbury University as well as the Salisbury community came out to support the event and to have a fun and spooky time.
The overall winners for the 5K included Yousuf Al Naseri, who placed first both in the men’s division and overall with a time of 16 minutes and 24 seconds, and Laura Amrhein, who placed first overall in the women’s division with a time of 19 minutes and 58 seconds.
Salisbury Student United Way is the college chapter of the United Way of the Eastern Shore. Salisbury Student United Way allows students to help raise money and partake in service throughout the community.
SU senior Katlynne Tatterson, the 5K coordinator, worked hard to make sure that the event had a good turnout that was successful in giving back to the community.
“We are just the college chapter of United Way, and we support them," Tatterson said. "We raise money for them. With the Halloween 5K, all the proceeds go to United Way, and we do other events as well."
The other off-campus events include community service projects such as ramp building, as well as working for God's Kitchen and Diakonia.
The Halloween 5K is an annual event, and every year, the theme is zombies and Halloween. Participants are encouraged to dress head-to-toe in ragged, zombie-like apparel while they run through SU's campus.
Salisbury United Way believes that having an event with a fun and spooky theme creates more of an interest among college students and the Salisbury community.
“It is a big theme for us … for Halloween, we do the zombies every year, because it’s a good way to get college students engaged with it, to dress up in costume and try to … make them [the runners] feel like they are celebrating Halloween and not just running a 5K,” Tatterson said.
Sophomore Claire Heartlove was one college student who decided to run in the 5K. She was a zombie the previous year and enjoyed both experiences. Heartlove won first place for her age group.
“My friend asked me if I wanted to do it [this year], and I was a zombie last year … And so I knew it was just going to be a really fun, chill race, and so I agreed,” Heartlove said.
Salisbury Student United Way utilizes volunteers from the community to make the event happen. College students often dress up as the zombies, while many businesses throughout the community are willing to either sponsor runners or provide prizes for the runners.
“Zombies are volunteers, usually college students, and we actually had a professional makeup artist who contacted us and wanted to help us do the zombie makeup … we have other volunteers who also just did some basic makeup and stuff like that," Tatterson said. "We just contacted a lot of other groups on campus, mainly for zombies and for volunteers for the entire event.”
After the race, runners and volunteers were able to stay for an "after party," which included games for the kids who participated, an awards ceremony, a costume contest and food and beverages, including coffee from Rise Up Coffee.
“The after party was good, they had a lot of refreshments … And the radio station was there playing music, so it was a good time,” Heartlove said.
Runners and SU's Student United Way look forward to the 7th annual race that will be held next year in October.
By LAURA AMRHEIN
Photos by Laura Amrhein Images.