Thanks to amazing people and generous hearts $13,500 was raised for the Open Door Clinic, a free health clinic serving the people of Alamance county. WOW! Way to go everybody!

Amidst a week of gloomy weather, Saturday, September 24th dawned bright and sunny, the perfect day for a race! Volunteers, giving up their weekend sleep in, started showing up early to help with set up for the race. You can see a picture of a few of the volunteers above. (Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to catch everyone.) I had the opportunity to help set up the obstacles for the zombie fun run with Jessica, the leader of the fun run. I also got to fill up a ton of awesome squirt guns with the special Substance X (I may or may not have tried out a few of them… just to ensure we had functioning equipment of course). About this time, we had even more volunteers come, some to get zombified and others to zombify. I wasn’t necessarily supposed to be a zombie painter but it looked like a LOT of fun so I jumped in and started painting away. You can see below how much fun it was. Our zombies were amazing! Going all out with full body zombification. And let me tell you, we’ve got some professional zombie painters around here (not me though, I just threw paint on people).

The Fun Run consisted of 4 obstacles the kids had to get through before reaching the collection of squirt guns, and then running through the land of zombies to make it to the finish line and receive their medals. The obstacles consisted of army crawls, high knees ladders, and more! We had 4 groups of kids and each group had to work together to make sure they made it through each obstacle as a team. Each team had a “super” team leader who was in charge of making sure the kids made it through safely. There were also helpful fairies around the course to keep an eye out and cheer on the little ones.

To start us off right, Wonder Woman Jessica gave an epic inspirational speech to the mini superheroes. The kids were so cute dressed in fantastic costumes and with mega sized enthusiasm. Then we were off! Minion Me was in charge of the last group, and let me tell you, it was hard to keep them back! They were so excited to get started. We successfully navigated the obstacles and made it through the zombie land, squirting many a zombie that got in our way. The zombies were the perfect amount of scary and fun. I had two kids who had so much fun “getting” the zombies, that they wanted to do it some more and went back for seconds! I had a blast, and I think it’s safe to say everyone else involved (from zombies to “fairies” to kids) did too!

Soon after the fun run it was time for the 10K, and shortly after that the 5k. We had over 250 people registered for the race! What a great turn out. It was awesome to see so many coming out to support the community, and the Open Door Clinic specifically. Each racer received a “swag” bag filled with all sorts of goodies, including a KIND bar, a big bag of SHEETZ almonds, a cell phone pocket from EPASS, a SUPER race shirt, and more. All thanks to our sponsors including Zenitry, Sheetz, Walgreen’s, Tre Salisbury/Farm Bureau, Wells Fargo, and KIND foods.

Despite the temperature that kept rising, the racers went all out and rocked the 5k/10k course. I had the opportunity to cheer them on and was so impressed with each racer. I was blown away by the enthusiasm and dedication that I saw in each participant whether they were running full speed or taking their time at steady walk.

After each racer successfully passed the finish line, Lowe’s Foods was there with fresh fruit and water. There were also Panera bagels available pre- and post-race for the contestants and volunteers. We also had several booths set up for the racers. Zenitry was there, set up to help racers with some post-race yoga. The Elon Department of Physical Therapy was also there to help any racer with some post-race stretches and therapy. Kidzart had a booth set up with superhero art and crafts to help keep the little ones busy and entertained. Mako Medical had a booth set up with different medical products for the racers to peruse. And we can’t forget Pelican’s who brought their mobile unit and had delicious snow cones for sale.

Once everyone had successfully completed the race we had the costume competition. So many people had come in marvelous costumes it was very difficult to judge! There were superheroes galore and even a few villains! My favorite probably was the Ghostbusters costume worn by a faculty member that had a surprise Slimer underneath the traditional Ghostbusters gear. There were quite a few groups who coordinated their costumes and even a few who made their own! It was an outstanding display of creativity and imagination. We were able to give several Oak House (local coffee and brew shop) gift cards out to the best women’s, men’s, and group’s costumes as judged by the audience.

Another fun side competition we had during the race was a Pokémon catching competition. An idea from our EPASS president, Graham, competitors who registered at the beginning of the race were tasked with catching as many Pokémon as possible. The course was scattered with pokestops and we placed lures on many of them. The winner caught an outstanding 35 Pokémon during the race! He was also awarded an Omega Sports gift card.

Of course we also had the traditional awards to bestow for the racers with the fastest time in their gender and age group, as well as the racers with the overall best time. These awesome athletes received Omega Sports cards as reward for their hard work. It was super fun to see some of my classmates and friends receiving awards. Unfortunately, there was a little hiccup with the timing equipment that resulted in some award errors, but I thought that Graham and the others in charge handled it the best way possible. Thankfully everyone was very understanding. We think that the kinks have all been worked out and we’re sure that it won’t be a problem next year

All-in-all it was a SUPER day filled with sweat, fun, and laughter. In the words of Dr. Bennett, the faculty member heading up the race, “The race was fast, colorful, fun, suspenseful, sweaty… and for the patients of Open Door Clinic, it was truly magical because of all of its fabulous runners and sponsors.” So a big thank you to all who participated in any way, from the volunteers to the racers to the sponsors. Thank you.

I’d like to especially thank our platinum donors: Kernodle Clinic and Wells Fargo. Also a big thank you to STX PICS for great pictures, some of which you can see below.

One of the biggest thank you’s has to go to Anna, the student race coordinator who worked so hard, hand-in-hand with Dr. Bennett since the beginning of the year. She was amazing and tireless in her pursuit of putting on a successful race. I think she nailed it! As you can tell from my posts, PA school isn’t a walk in the park, and Anna was able to successfully navigate the demands of our classes as well as coordinating an epic race.

Keep your eyes peeled, next year’s race date should be announced in January 2017. I’ll be sure to let you know when we have it set. I hope to see you all next year!