More than a hundred people raced through the streets of Mount Airy Saturday evading hordes of zombies invading the city.
Angela Shur, who sits on the board of the Shepherd’s House, the local homeless shelter, organized the first Zombie Run 5k fundraiser in the city.
About 150 runners took part in the event, which forced participants to dodge zombies as they made the trek along the streets of Mount Airy and the Emily B. Taylor Greenway.
According to the race’s website, most registered runners were from Mount Airy and the surrounding community. However, a few journeyed from as far away as Charleston, West Virginia, and Castle Hayne, a community near the coast.
Runners who took part wore five flags, according to Shur. More than 250 zombies, provided by school Interact clubs from throughout the county, attempted to snag the flags along the way. Those participants with flags remaining after 3.1 miles were entered into drawings for prizes.
However, when the last runner crossed the finish line and awards were handed out, the night was far from over.
Shur also organized a large Halloween party which inhabited Franklin Street. Though admission to the party was included in the registration price for 5k participants, those who attended only the party paid $10 for admission.
However, once inside the event, nearly everything was free, said Shur.
“On this street it’s all about fun,” remarked Shur as she danced on Franklin Street Saturday night.
Children milled around in costumes collecting candy. There was a costume contest, and all sorts of activities kept participants busy. Games, crafts such as decorating pumpkins and dance contests were just a few activities offered.
B-Dazzle Productions provided DJ services, and Vann McCoy from Mayberry Spirits was serving drinks — of the non-alcoholic version — to runners who tried to catch their breath after competing in the 5k.
All proceeds raised at the event will go toward supporting the homeless shelter and the backpack food programs of the Surry County Schools and the Mount Airy City Schools, according to Shur.
The backpack programs send a bag filled with food home with students who may be in need every weekend.
Saturday evening Shur noted it was too early to know exactly how much money was raised. However, she estimated proceeds from the race alone to be in excess of $7,000.
She believes the event to have been even more lucrative than an annual pie-eating contest Shur holds on Independence Day.
Seventy-five percent of the proceeds will go to the Shepherd’s House, and 25 percent will be forwarded to the two school systems for use in filling the backpacks.
Shur said the event received much in the way of community support. More than 50 companies and individuals sponsored the race and the party which followed.
“We got phenomenal support from the community,” said Shur. “Everybody pitched in, and it went wonderfully.”
While the community can support an event, there are some things out of everybody’s control, said sure. However, those matters also fell into line.
“We had the perfect day. The weather is just beautiful,” explained Shur. “We really couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
Shur also said the two programs for which the event raised funds are worthy causes. Throughout its 13 years in existence, the Shepherd’s House has housed more than 1,600 men, women and children and served more than 44,000 meals, and the backpack food programs help deliver weekly sustenance to hundreds of children each year.
The future for the Zombie Run is looking bright after Saturday’s inaugural event, according to Shur.
“It all went wonderfully,” said Shur. “This will definitely become an annual thing.”
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.