“Prove it,” Hank Taylor’s brother told him when he said he could organize a better 5K than the mess of a race he ran the week before.
Taylor took hold of the challenge and successfully organized Provo’s first Monster Mile just in time for Halloween last year.
The Monster Mile is making a comeback with its second annual 5K race on Oct. 29. Organized entirely by BYU students, this 5K offers an especially theatrical experience: participants run in costumes, accompanied by live music and a continuous party.
Taylor, a junior from Meridian, Idaho, studying recreational management, is the head of the operation. Learning from last year’s experience, this year’s race has been modified to be more of a family event.
“There’s the 5K, the mile run and the trunk or treat,” Taylor said. “We wanted this year’s race to be a fun experience all around, there’s something to do for everyone attending, not just the runners.”
This year’s event will include live music before, after and during the race — a measure taken to heighten the celebratory atmosphere of the event. Danny Ritter, a junior from Huntington Beach, Calif., studying applied physics, will perform. As a participant in the race last year, Ritter was eager to be involved again.
“Hank’s a good friend and I wanted to help out,” Ritter said. “Last year was fun and incredibly well organized for a student project.”
Running last year’s race as the red Power Ranger, Ritter remembered the experience as being unique from other races.
“I’ve been a runner for a long time and I’ve run all kinds of organized races,” Ritter said. “This one was unique and memorable because it was just about having fun. I thought it would be serious, but it was less about winning the race and more about having a good time.”
The BYU students organizing the race have all contributed from their areas of study. Macy Baker, a junior from Turlock, Calif., studying recreational management, has been able to bring an event-planning mindset to the team.
“I’ve been the one to ask the event-planning questions, figuring out small details that are necessary for an event to run smoothly,” Baker said. “We’ve all brought something else to the table in the planning process.”
James Stewart, a junior from Meridian, Idaho, studying information systems, has been in charge of the Monster Mile’s online presence, a role necessary for smooth online registration. Between the planning of the event, the advertising and more technical aspects, the Monster Mile has been a project beneficial to these BYU students.
Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Academy of Creative Enterprise — a non-profit organization founded by a BYU grad. The Academy teaches sound business principles to young adults in developing countries, an effort meant to generate enterprise internationally. This cause aligns closely with the values of the BYU students involved, all gaining experience for their future careers.
The Monster Mile starts at 10 a.m. on Oct. 29. Register at provomonstermile.com, enter the promo code “HALLOWEEN” for a 20 percent discount.