James Smith and Yvonne Phillips dressed up and raced in the Halloween Half marathon, which began at Bower Ponds on Saturday morning. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

James Smith and Yvonne Phillips dressed up and raced in the Halloween Half marathon, which began at Bower Ponds on Saturday morning. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Central Albertans dress up for Red Deer Halloween Half Marathon

A giant hamburger, Napoleon Dynamite and Waldo.

These were just some of the costumes central Alberta runners donned as they ran in the Halloween Half Marathon at Bower Ponds on Saturday morning.

About 200 runners participated in the event, which featured five, 10 and 21-kilometre runs along the city’s river pathways. This was the 15th and final event of the Run Red Deer race series season.

“This race has been a staple in the calendar for about 10 years in Red Deer,” Tom Bamford, Halloween Half chief sweat officer.

“We’ve got runners from the local area as well as some who travel here to participate. One of the spins on this event that makes it special is people like to dress up and wear a costume while they run, which can be difficult and takes a bit of strategic planning. But it brings a bit of spirit to the event.”

There is a contest for best costume at the event.

“Sometimes you’ll get an entire family that comes out as the characters in a story or something. It’s a lot of fun,” said Bamford.

“When you have people wearing full makeup you wonder how they’re able to do it. Or if they’re wearing something like a full dinosaur costume, how do they even see where they’re going?”

The run itself is “very flat” so there’s something for everybody, Bamford noted.

“If you’re a new runner, you can take it on,” he said.

James Smith has participated in the Halloween Half for several years, but this was the first time he showed up in a costume. He was dressed as a pig.

“In the past, I’ve come to this and just raced as hard as I could,” said Smith, who ran in the 21-kilometre race on Saturday.

“This year, I haven’t trained so much and I really enjoyed seeing people who dressed up in previous years. So I thought it’d be fun to just have a really good time this year instead of taking it as a serious race.”

Yvonne Phillips, who has also participated in the event for a number of years, ran while wearing a square-dancing costume in the 10-kilometre race.

“I’ve been running in this for a lot of years also, but last year was the first time I dressed up – I was a Gypsy. It’s just fun to see people dressed up and it’s fun to participate,” said Phillips.

“I think they’ve got a pretty good turnout this year. I encourage people to come out and try it – run 5K. You’ll have a good time.”



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

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