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Runners to dodge zombies at race

STAYING ALIVE: Runners in the HARTA-ween Zombie Dash, pictured in a photo from last year’s event, try to stay away from zombies and other Halloween creatures along the trail waiting to steal their flags.

by James Ehle - jehle@h-ponline.com

Runners are challenged to avoid becoming “infected” by zombies and other Halloween creatures at next weekend’s HARTA-ween Zombie Dash.

The third annual HARTA-ween Zombie Dash, which will benefit the Huntington Area Recreational Trails Association (HARTA), will be held on Saturday, Oct. 12 at Yeoman Park in Huntington. 

Runners will have an opportunity to take advantage of the event’s early pricing through this Friday, Oct. 5, by registering for the event online. Also, participants who register by Oct. 5 are ensured the availability of their requested t-shirt size.

The family-friendly event is being held to raise awareness for the Huntington County trail system.

Participants can choose from a 1 mile fun run/walk, which is recommended for all ages and endurance levels, a 5K mixed terrain route or the 10K mixed terrain route.

“It’s not just running in the street,” said HARTA Board Secretary, Kelly Frank. “It’s a combination using the trail system that we have, and I think that just makes it more fun than a race that might be on the street.”

Runners will be given flag football belts to wear around their waist, and will try to make it past all of the Halloween creatures without getting their flags snatched.

“If they snatch one of those flags, you become infected,” Frank said. “It’s kind of like a video game, essentially.”

Organizers are seeking volunteers to help out with the event on Oct. 12., which may be more suited for those who don’t consider themselves runners.

Of highest priority, the race is seeking “creatures”, including zombies and other monsters. Prizes will be awarded for the “best costume” and volunteers will receive a race t-shirt.

Organizers are also looking for those interested in being part of the race crew, which will help keep runners from veering off course, water aid station attendees, and a race registration team - all of which will receive a race t-shirt for their efforts.

People with a knack for decorating are invited to be a part of the Halloween decorating contest, for which prizes will be awarded.

Even though several zombies and monsters will be lining the race’s path, Frank says the race is suitable for all ages.

“We have anywhere from babies that go with their mom and dad in the stroller to probably age 75,” Frank said.

The Zombie Dash is a rain or shine event. Early-bird prices are $15 for students with valid student ID, $20 for individual runners, and $45 for a family of five ($8 for each additional member above five.)

Runners can register at the event on the day of the race at $20 for students with valid student ID, $25 for individual runners, and $50 for a family of five ($8 for each additional member above five).

Each runner who participates in the races will receive a swag bag and participation medal. The top runners in the 5k and 10k will also receive awards.

Runners can register online at: harta-gotrails.org/events/hartaween-zombie-dash/

Visit harta-gotrails.org for more information.