Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Hero Dash

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to run in a race. That in itself isn't big news, as over the years, I've run in more races than I can count.

What did make it special is that this was The Hero Dash and Zombie Run. This 5K was a joint event hosted by Salt Lake Comic Con and the Utah Rotary Club, and it benefited three different charities, Operation Underground Railroad, the Huntsman Cancer Institute, and End Polio Now.

An ad showing all the swag that came with registering for the race, as well as listing the charities it supports
The Utah Rotary Club has hosted the Zombie Run for several years. This year they joined forces with Salt Lake Comic Con's Hero Dash.

Costumed runners getting ready at the starting line
Initially I signed up for the race because it combined two of my interests, superheroes and running. When I found out about the charities the race benefited, I was even more impressed by it.

The start and finish line for the race
I first heard about Operation Underground Railroad at the Salt Lake Comic Con's FanX earlier this year. It was featured in one of the panels I attended. This wonderful non-profit organization consists of many individuals who have worked either in the military or as government agents. They work with local legal authorities around the world to end human sex trafficking, which includes rescuing children involved in human trafficking, helping to rehabilitate them, and arresting and prosecuting those that run these human trafficking rings. The work they do is amazing, and more information can be found on their website:

The Huntsman Cancer Institute is well known to many that live in Utah. This organization does state-of the-art research into cancer treatment, prevention and education. They are among the lead and most respected researh organizations in the field. As I have had a family member die from complications due to luekemia, I am grateful for the work that they do. More information can be found on their website: 

End Polio Now is an organization sponsored by Rotary International, with the goal to end polio throughout the world. Though polio is not an issue in the United States, there are still developing countries where polio is endemic, and End Polio Now is making headway in eliminating this crippling disease from the world. More information can be found at their website: 

A number of the costumed racers gathered together after the race
In addition to the charities that the proceeds from the race went toward, this was also a fun race with people dressed up as zombies and as superheroes and other sci-fi/fantasy characters. It was really a fun event to get into the spirit of Halloween. I went as Green Lantern, as I already had a costume available I could easily run in.

Me before starting the race...

...and after the race
Though the run wasn't quite as organized as most races I have been to (there were no instructions when registering online as to what part of the very large park the race was to start from, and I'm all but certain it was not a full 5K), and I was really out of shape as far as running goes, I still had a fun time, saw a lot of cool costumes, and got to watch a mini-concert after the race. And the support going toward the charities certainly made up for any shortcomings in the actual race.

The mini-concert after the race
And there was also an announcement from Dan Farr of Salt Lake Comic Con. FanX is indeed happening next year and tickets go on sale next month!

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