Zombies will roam the village of East Davenport this Halloween weekend in Village Zombie Run

The dead will walk – or run – through the village of East Davenport again this Halloween for the first Village Zombie Run.

Runners and Halloween enthusiasts will put on their best zombie makeup for the 5k run, which takes place at 10 a.m. on October 29 at Duck Creek Park, 3300 E. Locust St., Davenport, near the tennis courts. The race is point-to-point and will end in the village of East Davenport. Shuttles will run from the village to the park to transport participants to the starting point.

Registration for the 5K is $40 and will be open online until October 28. The half-mile children’s run, which starts at 8:45 a.m. in the village, costs $25. People can also register online to volunteer at the event. The best runners will receive cash prizes, as well as the best zombie costume.

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Race organizers Jesse Codling and Brian Doerrfeld began planning the race, which replaces the Cocoa Beano 5k in Lagomarcino, in August. The couple wanted to bring a race back to the village after Cocoa Beano went virtual due to COVID-19, so they worked quickly to dream up a Halloween-themed event that could be fun for more than the runner.

“I’m a huge George Romero fan and love old zombie movies, so I thought it would be really cool if there were hundreds of zombies running this 5k race,” Codling said. “So that’s sort of the origin of how it all started.”

Village businesses will hand out sweets and treats during the event, Doerrfeld said, providing kids with a fun activity to do instead of just waiting for the race to finish.

Proceeds from the race will benefit the Trinity Health Foundation’s 3D Breast Cancer Screening Fund. Cocoa Beano had a charitable aspect, Doerrfeld said, and they wanted to keep that feeling going with the Village Zombie Run. The pair hope to participate in the race for years to come and hopefully become as popular an event as Cocoa Beano.

“Our goal is to start and I think 2023 will be back to where [Cocoa Beano] was,” Doerrfeld said. “In 2019, Cocoa Beano had 3,300 runners. So I think that’s our goal for 2023, to put that staple back and do it for 10, 15, 20 years, like the Cocoa Beano did.”

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