Themed 5K run will support junior class activities at Centennial High

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: CENTENNIAL HIGH SCHOOL - Runners, walkers and zombies will converge Saturday for the first Zombie 5K at Centennial High School.

Halloween may be over, but Centennial High School is keeping the spirits active.

Centennial High’s junior class council will throw a 5K Zombie Run at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9. All proceeds will benefit class activities such as prom and a senior all-night party.

“The excitement was evident right away,” said Shelbi Wescott, an event organizer and co-junior class adviser. “Fitness and zombies are both popular, and we are hoping that this brings people from all around to participate with us.”

Drawing from the popularity of zombie movies and TV shows such as “The Walking Dead,” Wescott, co-adviser Nicole Johnston and the Junior Student Council team decided adding the zombie element to their 5K would give it an extra boost of appeal.

“I personally think zombies are popular right now for two reasons,” Wescott said. “The first reason is because there is an element of: ‘Could a zombie outbreak happen?’ Even if we try to reason with ourselves that people can’t become undead, there is still a lot we don’t know about pandemics. Our world keeps getting smaller, and a zombie apocalypse is a supernatural phenomenon that feels like it could actually happen. So it’s fun to pretend, but also exhilarating.

“Also, zombies are empowering. Traditionally they are slow and dimwitted — they are scary, too — but an average person feels like maybe, just maybe, they can survive zombies.”

Participants may register as a runner or zombie, but space for zombies is limited. The course will begin at the Centennial High School track and travel around the campus and outlying neighborhoods.

Zombies will chase runners at five strategic locations during the run. Wescott said the zombies will be instructed to be “fairly tame” toward runners early on and more intense later in the run.

Runners will wear flags, and zombies will go after the flags as in a game of flag football. Walkers will not be chased.

Afterward, all participants are invited to a zombie after-party with music and food carts, including Burgerville, Da Fat Boyz BBQ, Dutch Brothers and A Coffee Cart. Centennial is still seeking sponsors and supporters.

Early registration may be completed at The cost is $20 for runners and zombies. A T-shirt, certificate, bib number and zombie makeup (for zombies) are included.

Event organizers say participants also get “the privilege of surviving a zombie apocalypse while helping a great local cause.”

“Run from zombies, run as a zombie, walk the route, donate items to sell and tell all your friends,” Wescott said. “Whatever you do to help this event is important. There is no small gesture.”

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