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Rain doesn’t keep Alien Chase crowd away

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A few competitors show up in typical athletic gear for the Alien Chase Saturday morning. Don Jacobovitz from Jacksonville, Florida, says his outfit is a warning that, if you don’t run fast enough, the aliens will get you. He is seen next to Colby Jackson Foster of San Antonio, Texas. Emily Gabriel of Seguin, Texas, at right, puts the final touches on her outfit before the race start. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

From serious competitors to people just out for some fun and recreation, the Alien Chase attracted a record number of participants Saturday morning for its 25th year, according to organizers.

The city of Roswell-sponsored event is a 5K and 10K run and walk for all ages, with top prizes awarded to the top male and female finisher in each category and for the top three finishers in the nine different age categories. This year, more than 250 people, athletes and hobbyists took on the challenge, in spite of lightning in the distance and the occasional sound of thunder. Several people declared the light rain to be “perfect weather.”

Participants came from around all parts of the country and included some regulars, including about 40 members of the Merced and Francisca Gonzalez family. Each year, they gather in Roswell from several cities and states to make the event a family tradition.

The first participant across the finish line was Nick Fox, a Goddard High School cross-country runner, who competed in the 5K run. Complete results are expected to be released within a couple of days.