If it's time for Halloween, it's time for the Spookytooth 5k, a Summit High School event in its third year.
This year's race, slated for 10 a.m. Sunday at Summit High School, takes place on the road instead of on the trail, making wheelchair racing and running with baby strollers an option. Still, director Jimmy Patalan has recruited witches and trolls to haunt the racers as they make their way from start to finish. Costumes are encouraged for runners, with best the costume winning a prize alongside race winners.
Patalan, a Summit High sophomore, landed his role as race director as a way to fulfill his International Baccalaureate Middle Years project .
"Last year ... I didn't know what I wanted to do," Patalan said. "At first, I wanted to write a book."
This year, he sat in Darren Brungardt's algebra 2 class when Brungardt mentioned the need for a race director. Patalan's project has brought together several of his passions, particularly running (he's a member of the track team and he and his father assist local race company Maverick Sports).
It also allows Patalan to include the Keystone Science School, a beneficiary of the event and an organization close to his heart. He's been associated with the science school for the last decade, as acamper, and most recently as a counselor assistant.
"It's taught me to be a leader and take responsibility, especially when you're out in the woods with kids," Patalan said. "(The science school has) done a lot for me, so I wanted to give back to them too."
His experiences have also given him the tools to head the Spookytooth project, said Joel Egbert, Keystone Science School camp director.
"(Being a beneficiary is) great especially because Jimmy was a camper at the science school and now a counselor assistant," Egbert said. "It's cool to see him use some of the leadership stuff we've helped him develop."
Money donated to the nonprofit is to go to the scholarship fund for summer camp. Summit High's track program is the other beneficiary from the event.
Registration can be done in advance at www.running
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The fee for adults is $25, and students pay $20 in advance. Registration is also available day-of for an additional $5.