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Alien Chase makes its return

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Any extraterrestrials that might have been pursued were probably long gone by early Saturday morning when the city-sponsored Alien Chase 5K walk and run got underway. According to city officials, about 200 people participated for the pure fun, the athletic challenge or the lure of trophies and medals. Racers included young kids to people in their 70s. Some dogs and a few stroller-bound toddlers also made the journey. Originally scheduled for July 3 as part of the UFO Festival, the city’s first post-pandemic race had to be delayed due to trail damage caused by heavy rains in late May and early July. The two-week change meant outlandish costumes and getups weren’t part of the mix, but the event still brought some far-away visitors from California, Florida, New Hampshire and New Jersey. Some of the out-of-staters are trainees at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Artesia. People from FLETC first participated in 2019, and a group of about 20 showed up Saturday. The race along the Spring River Trail began and ended at the DeBremond Stadium parking lot on North Richardson Avenue, with some people doing a 2-mile leg to Cahoon Park and back and others completing the 5K to Wyoming Avenue and back. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)