COACHELLA, Calif. - For the first time in the desert, in honor of Dia de los Muertos, or "Day of the Dead," the Coachella Valley will hit the ground running in memory of loved ones who have passed away for the inaugural "Run with los Muertos" 5K night run/walk on Friday, Nov. 1.
Race registration begins at 6 p.m at Coachella City Hall. The opening ceremony festivities will start at 7 p.m. The 3.1-mile run and walk kicks off at 8 p.m.
"It hasn't been done down here. It's a night run on Day of the Dead. We're inviting everyone," said race organizer Tizoc DeAztlan.
Traditionally the Mexican holiday is celebrated with food, decorative altars and costumes throughout the world. Many people believe it's when the spirits of the dead visit their families.
Reporter Laura Yanez and our partner station Kuna Telemundo anchors Hernan Quintas, Gabriela Quezada and Mayra Perez will emcee the event.
Organizers, including Eventscape, the City of Coachella, Date Farmers Art Studio and Raices Cutltura, a local non-profit that creates classes and mentorships for Valley young artists, hope the run will keep the tradition alive through art and music.
Participants are encouraged to run in costume, T-shirts that honor loved ones who have passed, or in glow-in-the-dark gear.
"We're providing them a canvas to come and honor their loved one, whether it's a grandfather, mother or a co-worker, whoever it is," said DeAztlan.
Proceeds will benefit Raices Cultura to help continue its efforts and services for local youth.
Organizers said they expect it to be a night filled with cultural enrichment and a chance to get the community moving.
"We want to encourage people to be active. What a better way to integrate health and wellness, physical activity into a very important cultural event that takes place here and throughout the world," said Eduardo Garcia, the mayor of Coachella.
To register and map out the course, visit runwithlosmuertos.com website or search "Run with Los Muertos" on Facebook.
"Really, everyone has a special person they've lost, so it will really encourage them to sign up, prepare and give it all they've got for the 5K," said Garcia.
So who will you run for?