No cannibalism was reported Friday night when zombies ran and walked their way across three grueling, hilly miles of UT's campus as the Clinic Vols hosted their third annual "Clinic Vols Friday Night 5K."
The event was held to raise money for the Red Cross and local elementary school clinics. To take advantage of the recent resurgence in the popularity of the zombie genre fueled by recent movies and a popular television show, participants were encouraged to come dressed as members of "The Walking Dead."
The race began at 6 p.m. on Pedestrian Walkway. For contributing $18, participants were able to run the course and receive a T-shirt commemorating the event. After the race, a costume contest was held, with prizes awarded to the best-dressed zombies. The three fastest male runners and the three fastest female runners were also rewarded with prizes for their effort.
Clinic Vols Vice President Caitlin Miller organized the event.
"We thought a zombie run would be fitting for the Halloween season," Miller said, explaining why this year's 5K, unlike the past two years, was given a theme.
The incorporation of zombies into the race was successful, as approximately 120 runners and walkers, many of whom were dressed as blood-covered and flesh-eating zombies, participated in the event, exceeding expectations for turnout.
Madison McDaniel, undecided freshman and a regular 5K runner, was enthusiastic about the event.
"I think it's great to generate excitement about a 5K through the use of zombies," McDaniel said. "It gets people active, and the money goes to a great cause."
Clinic Vols is a part of the Red Cross organization that helps staff elementary school clinics in the Knoxville area. The money raised, Miller said, will directly fund her organization as well as the local American Red Cross chapter.
"Within Clinic Vols, the funds cover the cost of training volunteers and the cost of first-aid supplies for our ten elementary school clinics," Miller said.
The organization is also designed to give students a chance to become involved in their community. The Clinic Vols website describes their volunteer work as "perhaps the most rewarding organization offered at UT."
Their aim is to "let Knoxville know we really care about our community and want to promote public health."
To find out more about becoming a Clinic Vol, visit clinicvols.org.