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Morning Sun
  • PSU group hosts inaugural 5K Zombie Run

  • Wilderness Park in Pittsburg was transformed into a post-apocalyptic death zone Saturday morning.



    About 50 Pittsburg residents and Pittsburg State University students ran for their lives through the park during the Public Relations and Advertising Club’s first annual five kilometer Zombie Run.

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  • Wilderness Park in Pittsburg was transformed into a post-apocalyptic death zone Saturday morning.
    About 50 Pittsburg residents and Pittsburg State University students ran for their lives through the park during the Public Relations and Advertising Club’s first annual five kilometer Zombie Run.
    Zombie runs are growing in popularity around the United States and are similar in concept to the Warrior Dash, which pits runners on a five kilometer obstacle course, said PR/AD advisor Josh Letner. In zombie runs, contestants put on flag football ribbons and must navigate a course lined with strategically placed actors dressed as zombies whose goal is to remove the ribbons. Once the ribbon is off, the contestants are “dead.”
    “You only die once,” Letner said. “After that it’s just a fun run.”
    Letner said he got the idea from friends who attended a similar event in St. Louis. Describing the planning of the event as “a generous term,” Letner said he got the OK from the Parks and Recreation Department. PR/AD designed the logo, promoted the event and organized 19 volunteers to be zombies.
    “All I did was plant the seed in their heads,” Letner said.
    The runners each paid a $20 entry fee and received a T-shirt and “swag bag.” The first three runners across the finish line with their ribbons were the winners.
    Melissa Nichols, a junior in public relations who was handling the press for the event, said about 30 runners pre-registered for the event but that nearly as many runner registered at the event.
    “We had lots of on-site registrations,” Nichols said. “There are about 50 runners today. We plan on making this an annual event.”
    The zombies organized early at Pitt State’s theater department to put on makeup and arrived as the runners were warming up in the dawn light. Nate Cook and his friend, James Powers, were participating in their first zombie run. Cook said he runs five kilometer races and thought the zombie run sounded like fun.
    “I really don’t have any expectation, other than I’ll finish at some point today,” Cook said. “It’s just more appealing than a straight road run.”
    Freshmen Cody Bott and Ryan Schulteis volunteered to play zombies and said they heard about the run through their fraternity.
    “It’s an opportunity to help out and it sounded like a fun time,” Schulteis said.
    Mitchell Hucke, a junior construction engineering technology major from Cherryvale, said he heard about the zombie run from his sister, Andrea, who is a freshman at PSU.
    “She saw a poster and told me about it, and she also participated,” Hucke said, adding that he also runs five kilometer races and was intrigued by the concept of zombie runs.
    Page 2 of 2 - “The terrain was challenging anyway, and the whole aspect of the zombies made it more difficult,” Hucke said. “And I’m a zombie fan, so that made it even better.”
    Would Hucke do it again?
    “Absolutely,” he said.
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