The Maxwell Park and Recreation District Auxiliary hosted its first Zombie 5k Run on Saturday, and the group could not have hoped for better fall weather for their kick-off. 

“I think it turned out great for our first event,” said Auxiliary member Tish Nerli. “We are definitely going to do it again next year.” 

Sponsorship from Morning Star Packing Company, and donations from a few other businesses, made the event possible.

Prizes were awarded to first and second place female runners Allison Costa and Rebekah McPeek, and male runners Colt Montgomery and Luke Pearson. Best-looking adult zombies were Mike and Susan Meeker. Best-looking youth zombies were Angel Iniquez, Isaac Iniquez, and Caleb Nerli. 

The McPeek family, of Arbuckle, received a prize for farthest distance traveled. 

Among the 16 participants to complete the full 5k were a couple of “virtual” runners, including Mel Pina, of Colusa. 

Pina said virtual runners compete for amazing finisher metals by signing up online and then complete their runs at any location that fits their schedule. 

Nerli said she hopes to attract more virtual runners next year, in addition to recruiting more zombie volunteers, which is important for the success of the event. 

This year, the Zombie Run had to compete against Maxwell’s homecoming week, which culminated with the FFA Spooktacular on Saturday, which eliminated high school volunteers almost entirely. 

Although October is a busy month for Colusa County, the auxiliary hopes to avoid the conflict with Maxwell events next year. 

Saturday’s run included a great spread of food, including cookies, Lundburg organic rice chips, fresh fruit, Rumiano and Sierra Nevada cheeses, and other goodies. The Colusa County Office of Education Tobacco Education staff brought fun educational materials, and Fairview Foto Booths provided participants with commemorative photos. 

“The runners, zombies, and volunteers were well fed and everyone seemed to have a good time,” said Susan Meeker, a member of the auxiliary. “We want this to grow into a fun, healthy, family-friendly event. You don’t have to be a runner or complete a full 5k (3.1 miles). You can walk all or part of the course.” 

All of the proceeds from the Zombie Run, which is to be an annual event, are dedicated to the Maxwell Park and Recreation Community Center’s expenses and activities. ■