Run for the Dead

It’s a race, it’s a party, it’s a costume contest – it’s a DOG costume contest – and it all benefits our spooktacular cemetery next door. **$5 donation = FREE BEER FOR SPECTATORS!**

Laurel Hill’s Rest in Peace Run isn’t your average 5k. For starters, the hilly course zig-zags among jumbles of old gravestones, mausoleums, and memorials.

The Victorian sculpture here is ornate and more than a little creepy: angels with hands lopped off, for instance, symbolizing a life cut short. Skulls to remind us of our mortality. Statues of men, women, children with their faces melted off from decades of acid rain.

Founded in 1836, Laurel Hill is the 2nd oldest “garden” cemetery in the US – 74 acres of rolling, landscaped grounds overlooking the Schuylkill River and Kelly Drive. Back then, cemeteries were regarded like parks — people would hang out, picnic, enjoy the views.

Elaborate tombstones provided some eye candy for visitors, and also gave the dead an opportunity to show off a little and make sure everyone remembers your life’s achievements: “I may be dead but damn I was awesome!”

Runners on October 7th will pass the most amazing final resting places! Not to mention the natural scenery, so pretty in all seasons but redunkulous now with the leaves changing. If you have any ability to run at all, you’d be remiss to pass up this opportunity to cruise thru a gothic movie set while helping preserve this incredible local resource.

Every penny this race raises goes straight to the Friends of Laurel Hill Cemetery, who helped bring this place back from the dead (so to speak) in the 1970’s and now oversee it’s care & upkeep.

Don’t run? Come to watch – and for an amazing after-party that puts the “rave” in grave, ha! Food, free beer, and great music. Wait, what? The beer has been donated, people. So for a suggested contribution of $5, the free beer’s flowing for runners and spectators alike. “Drink up!” the events page cheers.

Oh yeah, the best part: costumes! For runners and also spectators, who are encouraged to dress up too. This’ll be the 9th annual RIP 5k, and the costumes get more outlandish and hilarious every year.

Prizes are given for Best Individual, Couples and Group – everyone who shows up in costume is automatically entered. Finalists are chosen by the race directors but the crowd picks the winners.

New this year: DOG COSTUME CONTEST! Pets are not officially registered in the race but they are welcome to run with their owners on a leash. All costumed dogs who come to run, watch, or attend the after-party are automatically entered.

Pre-registration closed October 1st but you can still register the day of the race. There’s no added fee, but t-shirt sizes & gift bags for walk-ups are first-come, first-served while supplies last.

Race starts at 4pm, after party begins at 5. 

Kids (age 8 – 12): $15
Teens (13 – 19): $20
Adults (20+): $35
Team 5+ participants: $30

Zombie face-painting. Spooky treats. Raffles & prizes. Live music & dancing. Beautiful historic setting in our own backyard. More details on the webpage and Facebook. Halloween starts here, if you’re doing it right this year.




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