Goblins And Ghosts Race Through Sugar House Park


Eli Adams, Feature Editor

There is only one thing scarier than ghouls, goblins, and ghosts. Only one thing scarier than all of the Halloween monsters all wrapped into one: Long-distance running.

Every year around Halloween in Sugar House Park, a series of spooky, haunted races take place on the same morning. The event is called the Haunted Half. It is made up of a one-mile race, a five kilometer race, and a half marathon (13.1 miles). Along with the labors of a usual race, a twist has been added: each runner is encouraged to run in a costume.

The 5k race seemed to be the most popular of the three races. The course, although mostly located within the boundary of Sugar House Park, went through the neighborhood to the north of Highland. A twist at the end of the race for the last few meters is the run through a Fear Factory sponsored, but runner friendly, haunted area with ghosts and inflatables.

At the start of the race, it was a beautiful crisp fall day. As the race progressed, the weather became warmer, especially for the runners. The atmosphere at the start and finish was festive and positive. Everyone was excited to either complete or to just have a good time.

Costumes are a big part of what makes this race fun and different. Costumes can be as simple or as elaborate as you want them to be. One of the most elaborate efforts was the couple dressed in massive Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head costumes. The intricate costume was definitely a crowd favorite and it was not hard to see why. Another large group dressed as Mario Kart racers Mario, Luigi, Wario, and Princess Peach, complete with floating balloons to measure their remaining lives.

This race is important in the Highland community not only due to the fact that several Highland students and their families participate in it but it is also in Sugar House Park, bordering our school campus. Highland student Ethan Blume has made running this race every year with his dad a family tradition, kicking off the season’s Halloween festivities.

“Me and my family do a bunch of fun runs throughout the year but this one is the best. It is really close by and a lot of fun so we do it every year,” Blume said.  

In the 16-19 age group, in the the five kilometer race, two Highland students placed in the top three and were awarded medals. The student who came in second place for this age group was a member of Highland’s cross country team: Hayden Hahn. Hahn has also been running this race for the past few years.

“It was cool to get a medal. But it was kind of easy. I didn’t try as hard as I did for cross country,” Hahn said.

Beyond the race aspect of the event the base camp where all the racers registered and where the finish line was held was a party to say the least. They had games, food samples, sponsors promoting their goods, and, fittingly for Halloween, free “Monster” energy drinks.

Even with the pain many endured while running their races, it was a great way to get some exercise before everyone devours sweets at unnatural rates during the Halloween festivities.