Run Like Hell poster

Athens' first Run Like Hell Costume 5k will take place Saturday, Oct. 20.

Graphic courtesy of: Kathy Straley

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OHIO prepares to run like hell (in costume) for cystic fibrosis

5k's seasonal twist attracts ghouls, goblins, students and community

Along with tennis shoes and water bottles, local competitors in an upcoming 5k are adding wigs and face paint to their race-day duffels. Costumes are just as important as split times in Athens' first Run Like Hell Costume 5k – a Halloween-themed race and after-party that benefits cystic fibrosis research.

An evening start will add to the event's seasonal twist. Check-in starts at 7:30 p.m., and runners will hit the pavement at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20, beginning at the University's intramural fields on Mill Street. Following the race, participants are invited to celebrate their achievements with drinks and live music at Casa Nueva.

For event organizer Kathy Straley and Associate Professor of Family Medicine Daryn Straley, fundraising for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is personal.

"We are working to find a cure for our four-year old daughter, Lilly, so she never has to even think about the disease that she's living with," Kathy explained.

Diagnosed at six months of age, Lilly is one of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States who suffer from cystic fibrosis, a life-shortening genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive systems. 

But recent medical breakthroughs offer hope.

In the past 30 years, the life expectancy for people with cystic fibrosis has doubled. And according to Kathy, additional fundraising will enable the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to build on those successes.

"A cure is just around the corner for cystic fibrosis," Kathy said. "We're looking for community members and the students of Athens to make 'CF' stand for 'Cure Found.'"

To date, more than 30 Ohio University students have volunteered to assist with the event. For more information on how to get involved or to register for the Run Like Hell Costume 5k, visit