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Runners and zombies start the zombie 5k run sponsored by Marine Corps Systems Command aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico Oct. 30.

Photo by Adele Uphaus-Conner

Walking dead at Systems Command Headquarters Zombie Run

5 Nov 2015 | Adele Uphaus-Conner Marine Corps Base Quantico

Marine Corps Systems Command Headquarters sponsored a Zombie Run on Oct. 30. The 5K run/1.5-mile walk was a morale-building, community activity open to all Marines, civilian workers, and contracted employees within the command and Program Executive Office – Land Systems.

Participants were encouraged to run or walk in costume.

“We’ve found that if people socialize together, they work better together,” said Bill Johnson-Miles, the command’s Family Readiness Officer. “We’re all one team here.”

The zombie theme was the idea of the command sergeant major, Sgt. Maj. Fletcher G. Pearson.

“Zombies just seem to draw all kinds of people,” Johnson-Miles said, citing the popularity of the AMC television show “The Walking Dead” and the recurrence of the zombie theme in books and movies.

“I think it’s the notion that something can be dead but still alive,” said Kaye LaFate, a command employee who was one of the costume judges.

As it turned out, runners decided that they would not be limited by the zombie theme. A few ran as the undead, but others chose to run as Vikings, lions, or flowers. Around 50 people participated in the run.

Brent Ingraham, who works in Systems Engineering, Interoperability, Architectures and Technology (SIAT), won the 5K run with a finish time of 21:48. The winner of the costume contest was Ruth Cisneros, Programs, who went full-on zombie with shredded, blood-spattered clothes and her face made-up to look as if half the skin was peeling off. The second-place winner was Rocco Blais, SIAT, dressed as a Viking monster. Third-place winner was Ryan, seven months, disguised as a tiny lion. Each of the winners received a restaurant gift card.

After the run, the entire command was invited to sample the 13 chilies that had been entered into the Zombie Chili Cook-off, which was a fundraiser for the command’s birthday ball.

— Writer: auphausconner@quanticosentryonline.com

Marine Corps Base Quantico