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Midnight Sun Run brings out the best — and wackiest — of Fairbanks

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Posted: Sunday, June 20, 2010 4:42 am | Updated: 1:38 pm, Wed Dec 26, 2012.

FAIRBANKS — A crowd of people flooded the parking lot of the Patty Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks on Saturday evening for the annual Midnight Sun Run. Among the roughly 4,000 participants, creative costumes decorated the crowd, including The Incredibles, a family of penguins, Dr. Seuss’ Thing 1 and Thing 2 and a three-headed man.

“We’re usually race bandits,” Laura Nutter admitted, meaning her and Morgan Dufseth dress up year after year, but never enter the costume contest. That is, until this year.

Nutter and Dufseth were dressed as a snake charmer and cobra, respectively. The costumes were Nutter’s idea, and she said she thought of them a “while ago.”

Nutter was dressed in white with fake facial hair, a recorder, a pair of glasses and an authentic-looking turban. Her skin was tinted a deep tan, and around her neck she worked Dufseth’s tail.

Dufseth’s face was painted red, and she wore a green snake costume, complete with glittering, green tights.

“We’re walking the race,” Nutter said. “We always do. We always try to come dressed as something that looks funny.”

A group of high school students dressed as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles received several loud hollers and rounds of applause during the parade. Caleb Weber, 14, Luke Port, 17, Elli Oba, 17, and Dorian Granger, 16, used 15 bottles of body paint to turn themselves green.

“It was her idea completely,” Weber said, pointing to Oba.

“We were just on the phone one day, and I was like, ‘Hey! We should so be the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!’” Oba said.

A week and a half ago, she started putting together the costumes for the group’s outfits as their first submission into the costume contest.

“I made everything,” she said.

The group wore green tops and shorts, along with colored masks and arm bands that revealed which turtle each person was. Their shells were made from construction wire, foam and camouflaged fabric, Oba said.

“We’re hoping to do good,” Oba said, “but I got a look at the competition. Some of those costumes look really good.”

Granger, a last-minute addition to the Ninja Turtle team, said he was planning to stop about halfway through the race that his team voted on “jogging” instead of walking or running.

“I’m going to stop for pizza when we’re about halfway,” he said, “and continue, holding the box.”

The group said they’re looking forward to all of the Midnight Sun festivities as the weekend continues.

“It’s pretty awesome,” Granger said. “It’s a whole lot of fun.”

Contact staff writer Renee Thony at 459-7583.

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