For a few moments, or at least 5,000 kilometers, area runners can dress as their favorite protagonist as part of Saturday’s Cosplay Relay.
The fourth annual Cosplay Relay will benefit the Center for Life Resources, which provides out-patient mental health services for individuals with intellectual or developmental disability services in Brown County and six surrounding counties.
“The rules are just to show up and walk or run,” Center for Life Resources Assistant Chief of Behavioral Health Jonathan Harvey said. “There is not a mandatory dress code or anything like that, but we will have people show up wearing super hero T-shirts and run. Last year, we had a person show up dressed as Wonder Woman. She put on the wig, crown, lasso, the whole shebang. It’s really anything and everything … I have only seen one or two people come in full garb. Other than that, most people are wearing their favorite super hero shirt of maybe a cape. They hold up pretty well that way.”
Harvey estimated 20 to 40 runners typically participate in each year’s 5K, and he’s received around 30 to 35 entries a little more than two days before the race. Early signup for the race is $30, $15 for children 12 and under, and $40 the day of the race. Harvey said the event began as a color run in 2015, then shifted to focus on comic book super heroes in 2016. After noticing runners sporting police officer uniforms, organizers decided it would be best to represent all heroes, fiction and non-fiction.
“September is recovery month for substance abuse and mental health recovery so we use the
5K to shed some light on the ability for people to recover from those issues and celebrate people helping people recover from those issues,” Harvey said. “That is how we came up with the super hero theme a few years ago, that gradually turned into cosplay because we had some individuals that showed up to the run dressed as law enforcement because those are individuals that help out the community. We had other individuals dress up like comic book super heroes and that follows that same type of helper theme.”
Harvey said public support of the event is important because the Center for Life Resources focuses on providing mental health treatment to those who need it the most, but cannot afford it and often fall through societal cracks.
“It’s really important they show up and support. We are known as a provider of last resort,” Harvey said. “… We are the provider if they are indigent or do not have the ability to see someone privately. We’re there to provide those services for individuals that sometime go overlooked, fall through the cracks or are underserved.”
The 5K will take place from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday inside Riverside Park. For more information contact the Center for Life Resources at (325) 646-9574.