Once again the city of Anoka, the Halloween capital of the world, held the 25th annual Grey Ghost 5K run and parade. The run was just before the parade on this past Saturday, the temperature was right around 50 degrees with very light winds, perfect for running. There were around 3500 runners competing in the run, many of them in costume, some or which look extremely hard to run in.
The name The Grey Ghost comes from an incident that happened many years ago, the story goes that a local Veterinarian from Anoka was seen running through Forest Hill Cemetery, in a gray sweat suit. Two women saw him and thought he was an escapee from the state hospital, and called the police. After that he was always known as the Gray Ghost. The veterinarian, William Andberg, was a great athlete in his own right; he started running when he was 55 years old. He set more than 30 world and national record for runners in the 50 to 90 year old class. At age 65 he set a masters world record of a 4:59 mile. The gray ghost was the one that got this race going in the mid 80’s; he even donated his own trophies with new inscriptions for the winners. He passed away in December of 2007 at 96 years old.
After the run comes the grand day Anoka Halloween parade. This may be the longest parade anywhere. Schools and businesses come from all over Minnesota and western Wisconsin to be in the parade. It really is a big deal and lasts around 2 ½ hours. It’s a fun way to spend the day with your family on a nice fall day. Check out the slide show of some of the pictures I took.