FARMINGTON — San Juan College's campus was crawling with zombies, ghouls, vampires and other monsters Saturday.
Children of all ages showed up in costumes for the San Juan College Halloween Carnival at the Health and Human Performance building and hundreds of people participated either as zombies or humans in the second annual Zombie Run 5k race.
The day began at 1 p.m. with the carnival, which lasted until 6 p.m. Marcia Sterling-Penn, one of the organizers, said the San Juan College venue, which was new this year, allowed them to have more space. In previous years, the carnival was at the Farmington Civic Center.
"I think it's great for kids to come up to the college and get used to the idea of being here," Sterling-Penn said.
Sabrina Travis has been taking her family to the carnival for eight years. She said they've been coming since her oldest, 9-year-old Lukas, was able to walk. Now she has two other children, Ian, 6, and Ava, 1.
The carnival provided many activities for kids. Ian Travis tried to list his favorite activities -- shooting zombies, darts, put-put golf.
"I guess I like them all," Ian Travis said.
The Zombie Run began at 4 p.m. near the San Juan College fire tower.
Starting and finishing at the fire tower stretched the race to slightly more than 5 kilometers, but race organizer J.D. Tanner said they chose to start there because of the apocalyptic feel.
Nearly 160 runners showed up for the race and organizers had to cap registration. The contestants were divided into three categories: appetizers (faster runners,) entrees (medium speed,) and deserts (slower participants.)
"Themed races are what's really popular in the race world now days," Tanner said.
Nathan Henkenius, Bethany Christian Church's youth pastor, stood by the starting line with a Bible in one hand and a cross in the other, dressed as a priest. He yelled bible verses and urged people to repent as the "apocalypse" started.
Henkenius said the favorite verse he used was from Kings, which talks about the Angel of the Lord killing the Assyrians.
"It's not really a zombie apocalypse, but it's a lot of death and destruction," Henkenius said.
The course included three obstacles, including a mud pit and a maze.
Runner Kelly Hunan from Farmington said the mud created a challenge.
"After I dove into the mud, my shoes weighed 10 pounds," Hunan said.
Each runner was given two flags that the zombies had to steal. Those who lost their flags finished as "dead" and were not eligible for prizes. Hunan couldn't say where she lost her last one. She said there were sometimes three zombies surrounding her. She would try to spin to escape.
"There was no way to get away from them," she said.
Race winner Chris Wechster managed to finish with one of his flags.
Wechster came to Farmington from Albuquerque for the race, along with two of his friends.
"We wanted to do as many races as we can before the Tough Mudder," Wechster said.
The Tough Mudder is an obstacle course race that will be in Arizona in April.
While Wechster enjoys obstacle courses, Saturday was his first zombie run. He said his technique was to jump over zombies or spin in the air.
"Everything was airborne," he said.
Strange but True Tales of New Mexico: Aztec Public Library will be hosting this storytelling event at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Bloomfield P.A.L.S. Halloween Carnival: This kids-safe Halloween carnival will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Bloomfield High School Old Gym.
Aztec Safe Treats: Business owners will be handing out candy from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday.
Boogie Man Ball: This event, which includes refreshments and trick or treating, will be from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Sycamore Park Community Center.
Boo-palooza: Boo-palooza includes a trick or treat on the Farmington Main Street, a Carnival of Candy, a Monster Mash Dance in Orchard Park and a Costume Contest and Pet Parade. The event goes from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday.
Aztec Boos & Ghouls Club Carnival: The Aztec Boys and Girls club are putting together a haunted house and other Halloween activities. The event will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday.
Trunk or Treat: A safe trick or treating experience will be at ERA Four Corners Real Estate, 800 E. 30th St. in Farmington from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday