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At about 10:15 on Saturday morning, runners in the Run For Your Life race started trickling across the finish line.

A Cookie Monster here, a superhero there.

Then, by 10:40 a.m., the flood gates opened, and runners crossed the finish line in droves: a gypsy, a red M&M, a group of old lady speed walkers, and a solar system, among others.

All told, 870 runners signed up for the second-annual Run For Your Life, which included a kid’s race, a 5K and a 10K.

The event is a fundraiser for Bozeman’s Help Center, a 24-hour crisis hotline and referral service that works on suicide prevention and intervention. The center gets about 800 calls, emails or walk-ins each month from people needing its services.

In addition to raising funds for the Help Center, “we use this day to honor those who have taken their life,” said Kathy Allen, program manager for the Help Center’s crisis hotline.

Many runners, on top of their colorful costumes and alongside their race bibs, pinned orange signs on their clothes saying whom they were running in honor of.

Last year’s inaugural race had 467 participants and raised $15,000.

This time around, 870 people registered, and organizers estimated raised upwards of $40,000, all of which will benefit the Help Center.

“We’re just happy to see it become a Bozeman event,” Allen said.

And a fun one, at that. From the simple to the intricate, most everyone who participated got into the Halloween spirit.

Kai Mittelsteadt’s costume got a particularly fun reaction. The 14-year-old ran the entire 5K inside a blow-up T-rex costume that he bought the night before.

“Extremely hot” is how Mittelsteadt described the experience — he’d had to stop halfway through the race to shed a few layers.

“I was melting,” he said.

But would he run another race as a T-rex in the future?

“I would definitely,” Mittelsteadt said, saying it brought a lot of laughs and smiles to people along the way.

“It’s not every day you see a dinosaur running around in a 5K,” he said.

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Whitney Bermes can be reached at or 582-2648. Follow her on Twitter at @wabermes.


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