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Slideshow | Ghoulish feet fly in North Bend's first Zombie Challenge

The shrieks that echoed across Mountain Meadows Farm Saturday, Oct. 29, weren't screams of terror, but rather high spirits.

Some 400 people took part in the first-ever Zombie Challenge run in North Bend.

Some participants wore their everyday clothing and countenances, but most came in costume, typically on a zombie theme. A few moaned, groaned and shuffled. Others fell out of character, laughing and smiling as they ran or walked along leaf-strewn paths and through obstacles.

Taking part with a group of friends, West Davis of Seattle skipped beside Colleen Foldvik.

"There are no zombie rules," he said.

Fifteen obstacles included a cold dash through a running creek, a shoe-sucking mud-pit, several slippery slides and a small fire jump.

Few runners will forget the waist-deep dip into a running creek that they briefly took, or a splash in an ankle-deep muddy creek bed.

"The water was very cold," said zombie cheerleader Megan Castillo, 25, of Seattle.

She heard about the race from family members, and counts herself a zombie fan.

"Who isn't?" Castillo asked.

Costumes tended toward the ghoulish or irreverent. Fire-tending volunteers Evan Farley of North Bend and Connor Boe saw several vampires and a zombie ninja Jesus race past.

"It's so much more fun than a regular race," said Shannon Pinnell, who wore a nylon smock that was soaked to the waste. "Everyone's dressed up, doing it for the fun of it."

"We needed something to do for Halloween," said Amanda Snyder, who came with her husband and friends from Seattle, slathering her face with make-up and fake blood. "What better way to do it than run?"

Tallying the day's pluses, which included good weather, a local band, beer and plenty of eats, organizer David Brown—demonic in a Dracula cape and prosthetic horns—was upbeat about the prospects.

"This is our first year," he said. "We're going to grow it." He's hoping to push attendance at the farm's next challenge run, a Ninja Dash next spring, into the thousands.

You can learn more about the Zombie Challenge at http://zombiechallenge.com/

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