The jailbird won the race.

The 2017 Tomah Area Community Theatre Monster Dash 5K run/walk benefit fundraiser was filled with contestants who were encouraged to dress up in Halloween garb. The race winner, Tomah High school freshman Weston Boettcher, was dressed as a jail inmate.

“It was last minute,” Boettcher said of his costume and decision to participate in the race. “It was pretty fun. I didn’t feel that good, but it was pretty fun.”

It was fun to see her son compete, Shannon Boettcher, Weston’s mother, said, but she didn’t expect him to win.

“I’m actually shocked,” she said. “I’m very surprised just because there was tough competition out there.”

Competitor Sarah Frederick, who dressed up as Wonder Woman as part of a team put together by the Tomah VA Medical Center, enjoyed the run.

“It was fun,” she said. “I thought it was a good way to support the theater ... I had fun, especially because I (got to) run with my daughter.”

Andre Smith, who participated as part of Team Fort McCoy Runners, agreed. He enjoys supporting community organizations.

“I like being an active member of the community and showing support for local things like this,” he said. “It’s a good time to stay in shape (and) it was fun.”

Tom Rudy, who organized the route and timed the race, said what he enjoyed most about the race is that while it’s a fundraiser for ACT, it’s a community-centered event and not just about the run.

“Some of the other races ... they’re all about the profit, and this one’s about the community,” he said. “I like that.”

The Monster Dash could become an important date on Tomah’s running calendar, Rudy said, given the time of year and the costumes competitors are encouraged to wear.

“It’s very unique,” he said. “I see huge potential for this race. This could be, and I’m not saying anything against the other races, because they all have potential, but this one, because of the costume fact, the community fact and the fact that ACT is involved in this, is huge. ... There are a few of these kinds of events around the state, but ... what’s really catching on now is the event runs − not just to go out and run a 5K and see how fast you can go, but the event ones. So they’re getting in with good timing on this.”

Rudy was involved with the first Monster Dash held in 2015. He said the 2017 race surpassed the first one.

“The first year we had about the same number; the weather was terrible. Everybody just didn’t really want to stay. They just wanted to go home; they were all wet,” he said. “This year they’ll hang around for a little bit, I think.”

Forty-two runners participated in the race, and the fastest team was the Team Fort McCoy Runners and the largest team was the Tomah VA Heroes for Heroes team.