Halloween traditions thrive at Beale
By 2nd Lt. Siobhan Bennett, 9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 02, 2012
BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
On this year's All Hallows Eve, Beale Air Force Base thrived as hundreds of Airmen, civilians, families and friends participated in the Zombie Run and Trunk or Treat events run by the 9th Force Support Squadron.
Human runners armed with water balloons swarmed the Lake House Pool parking lot ready to fend off the fast-paced zombie horde. The runners had to overcome the 2.6-mile zombie-infested terrain nestled in the woods behind family housing.
Zombie volunteers hidden throughout the trail displayed their theatrical skills as they chased the runners, hungering not for brains but for the chance to catch one of the two flags attached to each runner. At the halfway point, zombie hunters replenished the runners with water and more balloons.
1st Lt. Michael Gies, 9th Reconnaissance Wing Protocol, coordinated the event with 9th FSS and Harris Fitness Center. He said everyone made it out in one piece and had fun.
"A lot of people coming across the finish line were smiling and sweating," Gies said. "There was a unanimous feeling that this was a good event when it was over."
The best-dressed volunteers along with those who escaped the zombie apocalypse the fastest received prizes. Kael Reindl, Nevada Union High School cross-country athlete, heard about event through his father, Senior Master Sgt. Andrew Reindl, and finished first overall.
Reindl claimed to enjoy the run and the adrenaline boost of being stalked by the undead, and he spoke highly of his first experience running this race.
"I think it makes people think of Beale Air Force Base in a very positive light, because it was really fun and well put together by the staff," he said.
This was 2nd Lt. Nick Bucci's second time volunteering at a Zombie Run. He was impressed with the camaraderie of the event.
"I thought it was good compared to the other one I've done," said Bucci, 9th Contracting Squadron. "It was on a smaller scale, but felt more close-knit. This type of event not only gives Beale good publicity, but it also brings various people who work at Beale together to have a good time."
This was the second Zombie Run offered at Beale. Gies thinks the event will continue next year considering how many people participated.
After fleeing the walking dead, Team Beale continued to celebrate the 2,000 year old holiday with a Trunk or Treat event also run by 9th FSS. Trunk or Treat is an alternative to door-to-door trick or treating where candy givers distribute candy to children from their vehicles at a safe, central location. The event started at Beale Air Force Base in 2010 as a result of the complex housing situation on base where many homes are vacant and new homes were being built.
1st Lt. Cynthia Lete, 9th Mission Support Group executive officer, and 2nd Lt. Sarah Wilson, 9th FSS, organized the Trunk or Treat.
"Trunk or Treat is an opportunity where we can bring everyone together into one area so that kids do not have to walk up to five or six empty houses before getting to one with candy," Lete said. "We also have the haunted trail which takes you where the commanders live so that you can see all of them involved. It provides a good start for the kids to go trick or treating in a safe environment close to home."
Approximately 100 families who work and live at Beale brought their children to the Lake House Pool parking lot where cars and trucks were decorated and revelers handed out candy. The number of participants increased significantly from last year, according to Lete, which led her to believe the event was a success.
"All of the events that the Harris Fitness Center and Force Support Squadron offer -- Recce Challenge, Beale Cup, the Turkey Trot, Zombie Run, Trunk or Treat -- go to improve the quality of life on base," she said. "The Air Force has started to cut back some quality of life programs, and I think it's important that we keep (current programs) going as best we can for as long as we can."