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Capes on the street


Superheroes. These days it seems like everywhere you look — from the movie theatre to shaving razors — you can’t help but see a costumed hero saving the day. While they may not be in our skies, this weekend they’ll at least be hitting streets during the Beaverdale Superhero 5K.

The Beaverdale Superhero 5K will take place on Saturday, May 2.

The Beaverdale Superhero 5K will take place on Saturday, May 2.

“If you look at the box office success rate of any superhero themed movie, or if you look at the merchandise in the stores, it’s clear that superheroes are incredibly popular,” said Michael Howland, Beaverdale Superhero 5K organizer. “Selfishly, I am a huge comic book nerd, and there’s no better theme for me than any superhero theme.”

The Beaverdale Superhero 5K and Kids Fun Run on Saturday, May 2 is an opportunity to show off your comic book chops while getting a bit of exercise as well. Whether just a fan of the movies or someone who can explain the deeper philosophy of Batman Zur-En-Arrh (seriously, help me out — Morrison’s a trip), all are encouraged to join.

“I didn’t personally get access to the comic books themselves, so most of my personal fan base came from TV and movies. I loved the show ‘The Super Friends’…the ‘Superman’ movie series with Christopher Reeve, and I would watch all the ‘Batman’ reruns from the 1960s,” Howland said. “I am reading comic books more now in my adult life.”

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In the great debate of Marvel vs. DC (came from the popular series Detective Comics), Howland hangs up his cape with DC. As a marathon runner, The Flash’s super-speed would definitely come in handy, though Howland added that he would pick invisibility or flight over speed.

While costumes are optional, racers are encouraged to dress up, and a trophy will be awarded for best costume. The Iowa League of Heroes is bringing Batman and Wonder Woman for a meet and greet. Other costumed heroes will include Optimus Prime and Green Lantern. A bounce house and face painting will be available for the kids with massages available for the adults as well.

It should come as no surprise that the organizer of this fun run is a fan of the team-ups like the Justice League, the Avengers and X-Men. But Green Lantern has always been Howland’s childhood favorite.

“Maybe it was because he’d be able to create constructs from his imagination, or maybe because Hal Jordan himself was just the everyman,” said Howland. “You can identify with [Hal] whether through his father’s early passing, his romance with Carol or just him trying to fit in with the other Lanterns on Oa.”

Whether you’re planning on repping DC or Marvel, hero or villain, all proceeds benefit Everybody Wins! Iowa, a literacy and mentoring program through the local schools.

“I really hope it’s a fun chance to dress up and enjoy a really fun theme. I hope it challenges people to be more active and fit. I’m hoping we showcase the Beaverdale businesses, and I hope we have a generous gift to our charity,” said Howland. CV


Beaverdale Superhero 5K
Saturday, May 2 – 8 a.m. (5K race) immediately followed by a kids “fun run” (1k) at 9 a.m.
First Federated Church (Race Start)
Cost $25 (5K) or $10 for Kids Fun Run


David Rowley is an Iowa native with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Iowa and a master’s in film journalism from the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

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