Participants donned their Halloween outfits for a two-mile costume run hosted by the Franciscan University ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) program at 6 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30.
About 30 runners converged on Finnegan Fieldhouse early in the morning for the jog. Most of the participants belonged to the ROTC, but a handful were not associated with the program.
Prior to the run’s start, participants filed into the Fieldhouse lobby, where they admired each other’s spooky garb. The variety of creative costumes included a chicken onesie, a nurse’s uniform, Batman, Thor, a banana outfit, two inflatable dinosaur suits and much more.
Immediately prior to the run, the ROTC members filed into ranks and performed group stretches led by an instructor. The exercises were noticeably challenging for the runners wearing the inflatable t-rex suits.
The run began promptly, and the ROTC joggers shouted Halloween-themed running cadences to keep everyone in step. The cadences included call-and-response lyrics to the songs “Purple People Eater” and “The Monster Mash” among others.
The hollers of the ROTC echoed throughout the fog-covered campus, creating a perfectly spooky setting for the event. The fog itself was so thick that one cadence-calling ROTC member said he could hardly see 10 feet in front of him.
After the run, participants had a chance to catch their breath in the Fieldhouse lobby where they had started. One such participant was freshman Conor McHugh who said, “I thought (the run) was very enjoyable. … It helps to build camaraderie.”
McHugh explained how the ROTC program likes to combine physical training with fun, team-building activities; this results in light-hearted events such as the costume run.
“There’s a lot of creative people here in ROTC,” McHugh said, referring to the other participants’ costumes. “All of (the costumes) are really good, but I enjoyed the big dinosaur.”
Freshman Elizabeth Vaglia said, “I loved … the Major’s costume, which was the ‘Sugar Daddy.’ He had a baby carrier with sugar in it.”
The costume run was organized by juniors Annie Beckman and Garrett Wolf, both of whom belong to the ROTC program.