Monsters, humans unite to dash, walk at Halloween 5K

By John Bell

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Costumed characters, ghouls and other eccentric spirits made the McNamara Headquarters Complex a frightful scene as they ran and walked together Oct. 26 — along with plenty of regular humans.

The “Monster Dash” 5-kilometer walk/run saw 137 people participating this year — some in costume, some in running attire and some in office wear.

This annual event, organized by the HQC Morale, Welfare and Recreation Office and the HQC Fitness Center, is sponsored by several outside organizations. Volunteers helped staff the course and provide post-race refreshments.

In first place among male runners was Bryan Darnell of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, who completed the 3.2 miles in just 20:28. Right behind him were DTRA’s Adam Letizio, with a time of 20:43, and David Baer at 21:17.

First among the women runners, with a time of 23:31, was Beofra Butler, who works in Defense Logistics Agency Human Resources. Butler recently finished her 50th marathon since starting them in 2008. She will do several more by year’s end — along with a 100-mile race on New Year’s Eve, she said.

The runner-up for the women was Laura Funk of DLA Energy, with a time of 25:23, and Emma Edmiston of DLA Finance taking third in 26:36.

The top male walker was Doug Buckley of DLA Information Operations, at 52:07. The top female walker was Shari Fuzzell of DLA Energy, finishing in 46:21.

Also notable was Mo Fawaz of the DLA Equal Employment Opportunity Office, who finished the course while being completely blind. Fawaz began working for DLA in June after graduating law school and passing the bar in May. Fawaz was able to walk the course — which had potholes and ruts some places, as well as one very steep hill —  thanks to visual help from a colleague in DLA EEO, Christopher Kehoe.

Fawaz said the Monster Dash the first such event he’s ever done. And even though he walked the course without being able to see it, he said others might have found the walk harder than he did.

“For someone who’s visually impaired, walking the course is the same" as for those who can see, Fawaz said. But for those with limited mobility, a course of this length on uneven terrain would be much harder, he said.

Those not competing for time had fun wearing costumes or enjoying the company of those who did. The cast of characters included a princess of darkness; Batgirl; Wednesday Addams; a woman trapped in a spider web; road-running versions of Captain America; Chewbacca; Goofy the dog; a couple of hippies; a skeleton; a cardinal; a Spartan warrior; a devil lady; a “black-eyed pea,” (with black eye and the letter P in abundance); a “Smarty pants” (featuring trouser-mounted “Smarty” candies); an “identity thief” (bedecked with the name tags of others); an Indiana Jones villain; a half-man, half-insect; a human “sharknado”; and a not-so-super superhero clad in taped-together copies of Loglines, DLA’s official flagship magazine.

For costumes, the top prizes went to the as-yet unidentified “LogLinus” character (rumored to work in DLA Public Affairs) and Leslie Mehall of the Defense Contract Audit Agency, for her “Caught in a Spiderweb” costume.

Officers from the DLA Police Department cleared traffic on the route, and the Fort Belvoir Fire Department stood by for any medical needs.

The next MWR run/walk event will be the annual “Frosty Bear” 5K in January.