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Howlin’ Halloween in Grant Park, Monster Dash Family 5K

By Sonia Fuller
Every October Grant Park residents report an increased number of ghosts and other strangely dressed beasties of the night running throughout and around the park. Organizers of The Monster Dash Family 5K & Little Goblins Run hope to calm neighbors by laying claim to some of the crazy creatures this year, particularly those that will be seen running, skipping, walking, jogging, strolling, and even, in some cases, being drug during the early morning hours on Saturday, October 15 when the monstrous 5K returns to Grant Park.
The Monster Dash, in its third year, has quickly become one of the neighborhood’s most fun and healthy family events. With an event for every age group, participants are encouraged to bring the whole family, and, yes, costumes are definitely appropriate. While there will not be any goblins or vamps hiding behind trees (we think), there are some surprises in store: this year’s race features a new 5K course, as well as a 1-mile event, with the start and finish line positioned near the main Zoo Atlanta parking lot off of Cherokee Avenue.
“The Monster Dash really has become a fun-filled time for our community to get together while supporting our neighborhood preschool,” said Gabriela Garcia, director of the nonprofit Grant Park Cooperative Preschool. “We feel really lucky to share this great neighborhood with the hundreds of runners who come from all over Atlanta to the Dash each year.”
The day-of-registration begins at 7:30am or pre-register online at or by Wednesday, October 12. This year’s 5K run/walk and 1-miler have an 8:30am start time, followed by the Little Goblins Run (for the five-year-old and under set) beginning at approximately 9:30am.
Pre-registered fees are $20 for the 5K and $15 for the 1-mile; event day registration will be $25 (5K) and $20 (1M). Because this is a family affair, one adult may run for free with a registered child under 10 years old. Running groups of 10 or more can contact Leigh Schrope at for information on group registration and pricing. As usual, the Little Goblins Run is free.
Only pre-registered runners/walkers for the 5K or the 1-mile are guaranteed the much-anticipated official, long-sleeved Monster Dash T-shirt, designed again this year by Boulevard Heights artist James Palmer. Please note that only one shirt will be provided for registered runners under 10 years of age running with an adult. Additional T-shirts can be ordered online at for $12 and must be picked up on race day at the registration table.
Awards, provided by Grant Park’s MetalMorphosis, will be given to best overall finisher male/female and top male/female finishers in 13 different age groups, as well as for best male/female in stroller and double-stroller divisions and best male/female costume. All Little Goblins will receive a special medal.
This year’s runner’s bag includes all kinds of treats from race sponsors; such as a ticket for one free admission to Zoo Atlanta, a free appetizer from Doc Chey’s, gift certificates for Agave, Tin Lizzy’s, Intown Healthy Hound, and more.
“This is our third year sponsoring the Monster Dash, and we are just thrilled to be a part of it again. We’ve had a team from the office take part in it every year and are looking forward to running it again this year,” said Chris Harbaugh, a pediatric nurse practitioner with Intown Pediatrics. “We love to see families out exercising together, and events like this really promote family fitness.”
Special thanks to all of The Monster Dash sponsors: Six Feet Under, Intown Pediatrics, Red Robin Group, Grant Park Coffeehouse, FitWit, Biergarden, Max’s Pizza, Pachman-Richardson, Zoo Atlanta, Tin Lizzy’s, Kudzu Studios, Holcomb Insurance, Publix, Agave, Intown Doc Chey’s, Healthy Hound, Lisa Marie Smith and Erica C. Brown at Adams Realtors, and Aaron Watson.
All proceeds from The Monster Dash Family 5K & Little Goblins Run benefit the Grant Park Cooperative Preschool located at 501 Grant Street, Atlanta, GA 30312. GPCP is a nonprofit 501(c)3 with campuses in Grant Park and Cabbagetown.
Please send questions to or call GPCP at 404-521-0440.

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