Posted on: October 29, 2021 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Photo by Marcus Collins

Children 3-12 years old participate in the Kid’s Dash portion of Moraine’s Halloween 5K.

By Anais Rangel, JRN 111 Student

A gentle cold morning breeze blew through the autumn trees Saturday morning as Iron Man, the Hulk, an inflatable cow, and Ghostbusters lined up to race against Teletubbies Dipsy, Tinky-Winky, Laa-Laa and Po.

Soon, the sun began to shine through the clouds, welcoming all 362 participants to the kickoff of the 8th annual Moraine Valley Halloween 5K. To make the race fun for all ages, participants were highly encouraged to dress up in their Halloween costumes.

Photo by Marcus Collins

“I think it’s for a great cause,” said Jennifer Jimenez, who showed up in support of one of her friends. “This is my first time here. I thought it was going to be raining, but the day turned out great.”

The event was sponsored by the Moraine Valley Health, Fitness & Recreation Center in conjunction with the Moraine Valley Scholarship Foundation.

“All the proceeds will be donated to the foundation for need-based students here at Moraine,” said race organizer Jana Terborg, a coordinator of fitness and wellness for Moraine Valley.

With COVID restrictions beginning to lift, students, faculty members, families as well as members of surrounding communities were able to come out in force this year. Due to the pandemic, last year, organizers had to cap the event at 200 people. This year, while still following COVID restrictions and protocols and promoting social distancing outdoors, the limit was doubled to 400 people. Additionally, although organizers didn’t advertise a virtual option this year, Terborg said a couple of people did participate virtually.

At 8:45 a.m., the National Anthem was sung as runners excitedly waited for the start of the 5K race. The race took off at 9 a.m. on a scenic course around and through the Moraine Valley campus.

“I also ran last year. I love coming to the event,” said runner Melissa Kelver, who was dressed as an old lady along with the rest of her team, Run to the Pub.

Aquafina water bottles were placed on tables alongside complimentary pumpkin-shaped, individually-wrapped cookies to enjoy as runners reached the finish line. Students of Moraine’s pastry chef, Jeanne Kraus, donated their time to make and decorate the cookies. All pre-registered participants also received a T-shirt and a goodie bag.

Photo by Marcus Collins

The day also included a Kid’s Dash for children 3-12 years old. Kid dashers were safely monitored throughout the race as FitRec youth staff and volunteer helpers waved orange flags and stood alongside the path directing participants down to the finish line. Kid dashers followed one of the staff members on a bike guiding them around parking lot C3.

While waiting for their race to begin, children could do arts and crafts, decorate pumpkins, participate in a bean bag toss, or play soccer under the supervision of  FitRec youth staff and volunteer helpers.

“This is my first year here. My favorite part is just watching the kids play and having a fun time,” said Yasmeen Nogura, a sophomore at Amos Alonzo Stagg High School, who signed up as a volunteer.

Individuals, companies, and community members all generously contributed in support of the Moraine Valley Foundation by donating over 20 items for the Halloween 5K Raffle. Prizes were awarded to the top overall male and female runners, Eric Hofmann with a time of 17:25 and Amanda Cavanaugh with a time of 22:09. All winners were announced at the end of the Kid’s Dash, including the winners of the costume contest, Team Run to the Pub for Biggest Team, and Team Teletubbies (the Manganiello and Jones families) for Best Dressed Team.

Entertaining music by Miss Daisy’s Ukulele completed the event along with a large pumpkin-shaped inflatable bounce house for the kids. Participants were required to wear masks while indoors.