In the name of a good cause, Niagara University will turn its new running path into "Zombieland" for a few hours this Oct. 25.
NU's campus will serve as the site of "rUNDEAD," a 5K dusk run that raises funds for the athletes of Special Olympics New York. Unlike a typical 5K race, zombies are the obstacles, and participants must escape them to "survive."
It also will be the first event held on the university's "Power Path," a bike and running course developed through an ongoing shared campus beautification initiative with the New York Power Authority.
The run, which is open to the general public, begins at 4 p.m., with registration starting at 2 p.m. at the Kiernan Recreation Center. All ages are welcome to participate as runners or zombies. Makeup experts will be present to transform aspiring zombies into the undead.
Registration is $25 in advance (using the promo code "eagles"), or $35 on the day of the race, with all funds generated supporting the Special Olympics athletes in Western New York. All participants will receive an official "rUNDEAD" T-shirt.
Register at www.therundead.org/buffalo.
Special Olympics is the largest amateur sports organization in the world, comprising more than 4.2 million athletes with intellectual disabilities in 170 countries. Nearly 65,000 Special Olympics athletes compete in a variety of Olympic-style sports in New York, making the state program the largest in North America.
In June, the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., NU president, became the first university president in the western region to participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run, the single largest grassroots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle for the Special Olympics.
Through its partnership with Special Olympics, Niagara University offers coursework to prepare coaches; as a result, Niagara University has hosted a Special Olympics basketball tournament in its Kiernan Center for each of the past three years.
Niagara University's College of Education offers bachelor's and master's degrees programs in developmental disabilities, with embedded internship experiences that position candidates for career opportunities in the field. Both programs were developed in collaboration with community-based agencies that serve young adults and adults with disabilities.
To learn more about Niagara University, visit www.niagara.edu.
Additional information on the Special Olympics can be found at www.specialolympics.org.