People of all ages, many dressed up as superheroes such as Batman, Superman and Wonder Girl, took to the streets of downtown Portland last weekend to participate in the third annual Superhero Fun Run. This year’s event served as a benefit for the Portland Public School district music education program. Seventy percent of the money raised through registration fees will go to the charity.
The first Superhero Fun Run was launched three years ago by a small group of like-minded people who love superheroes and cosplay. The event has grown from 300 runners its first year to approximately 2,500 this year.
“Cosplay is short for costume play … you dress up as a certain character from TV, film, movies, fiction …,” says Jennifer Whited, event coordinator for the Superhero Fun Run and a cosplay enthusiast.
The Superhero Fun Run has always supported music education in schools. During its first two years, the event raised money for the Oregon Music Hall of Fame. This year, they decided to partner with Portland Public Schools.
Local cosplayers and cosplay groups, including the Star Wars group Cloud City Garrison and Portland Superheroes Coalition, participated. The costumed characters gave high fives to kids and created a lot of photo opportunities for parents and their children.
“I thought it went really well. Everybody was having a great time and I was very happy that a lot of people came dressed up in costumes and the energy was high,” says Whited.
Sarah and Nora Hilligas, a mother-and-daughter team, dressed as Robin. Sarah made their colorful costumes and says she thinks the kids really enjoyed people watching.
“We had a great time … We wanted to get out and thought it would be really a nice thing to involve the kids with,” says Sarah.
Additional photography contributed by Melanie Burke.