Students and San Marcos residents will have the opportunity to run alongside zombies for a great cause in the upcoming Run 4 Your Life 5K.
Hope & Love 4 Kids will host the first annual race Oct. 30 inside the Blanco Vista neighborhood.
Mia Hendricks, director and founder for Hope & Love 4 Kids, said this spooky race will help raise money to benefit children and families throughout Hays County.
“This is an event we have been waiting to do for years now,” Hendricks said. “Finally, we had an opportunity to make it happen.”
Hendricks said the organization has been planning for the race since May.
She said event organizers are excited to bring their own style of Halloween magic to the course.
“It is a night run, which makes the course completely different,” Hendricks said. “We will have glow sticks and zombies scattered throughout the course.”
Hendricks said the high thrills throughout the run are enough to make any ghost or goblin proud to compete.
She said residents who chose to compete are also giving back to their community.
“This will help raise money for our programs for the year,” Hendricks said. “The more runners we have, the more children we can assist.”
Since January 2006, the director said Hope & Love 4 Kids has provided assistance to over 100 families in Hays County.
“Rarely do we turn a family away,” Hendricks said.
The sole purpose of the organization is to have the means to provide help for families when the need arises, Hendricks said.
Hendricks said the organization has no paid staff. Instead, the nonprofit organization’s board of directors is led solely by volunteers.
“So far this year we have raised over $25,000 and we hope we can raise as much as we can at the event,” Hendricks said.
Hendricks said she hopes to see Run 4 Your Life become a fixture for Halloween events in the coming years.
Victoria Kephart, exploratory freshman, said she plans to participate in the run as a way to learn more about the community.
“This is my first year in San Marcos, but (from) the moment I got here I have felt like this place is my home,” Kephart said. “I want to support my new home as best and as much as I can.”
Kephart said she is looking forward to running in a race so close to her favorite holiday.
“Since this is my first Halloween on campus, I was looking for something fun and unusual to do,” Kephart said. “When I discovered the race I just knew I wanted to compete.”
Kephart said her favorite aspect of the race is the zombies that will be scattered throughout the course.
“I am a huge Walking Dead fan,” Kephart said. “The whole time I run I will probably just be imagining that I am fighting for my life against zombies, just like on the show.”
Jessica Lyons, exploratory freshman, said she plans to partake in the race to support the charity and local residents.
“I just think it amazing what this organization does for not only San Marcos, but for Hays County in general,” Lyons said.
She said she hopes to participate in more holiday-themed events like this in the future.
“I definitely believe it appeals to both kids and adults, because everybody wants to have fun on Halloween,” Lyons said.
Lyons said she hopes the race will bring more awareness to what Hope & Love 4 Kids does for families in need.
“I am trying to get my friends involved as we speak,” Lyons said. “I just think the children and families in need deserve our full attention, and they are as much of an important part of the community as we are.”