By Brooke Curley
SAFFORD – The zombies took to the streets, but nobody lost their brains.
It was the inaugural 5K and Fun Run benefiting the Safford High School Band and Wrestling departments Saturday morning. Students were decked out in zombie wear and armed with bottles of red liquid signifying blood, ready to chase the runners.
Duncan Walker won first place, with Kenny Gowin finishing second in the 5K. Walker took home a donated $25 gas gift card from the Stage Stop gas station, and Gowin won a soda gift card from Sodalicious.
The races began at 10 a.m. at the Safford High School. Parents and students volunteered in the event, which featured breakfast and snacks for sale, rounding out a morning of exercise and carbs. However, no brains were digested.
Phelan Bauman, one of the Safford High School Band directors, organized and planned the fundraiser.
“A wrestling student named Hayden Finch came to me with the idea and helped me organize and plan,” Bauman said. “Hayden and our band drum major and club president reached out to the community and got donations for prizes and the concession stands.”
A total of 82 racers competed in the day’s zombie events, and Bauman said the event was a success. The public’s reaction seemed very receptive, and Bauman said the band and wrestling departments plan to hold the race again next year.
“It was a great fundraiser bringing together a unique combination of students with band and wrestlers.” Bauman said. “Both groups had a great time and we were able to raise some money. We plan to do it next year and hope to have it be even bigger and better.”