Something else: Free parking at Antlers Hilton hotel, enter from Pikes Peak Avenue or Antler's Place.

Just two weeks before the 2012 Waldo Canyon fire, Chelise Foster was daydreaming about ways to care for the popular Waldo Canyon trail and forest habitat.

"I wanted to get a group of volunteers dressed as Waldo," says Foster, who frequently hiked the trail with her family, "and clean up the canyon."

Those plans were scrambled when fire demolished the area.

But, she recalls, "I wondered if there was some way I could still impact the community in some positive way."

Six weeks later, The Waldo Waldo 5K was born. Foster invited racers to show up at America the Beautiful Park, don a popular "Where's Waldo?" costume with its red and white striped shirt, pompom hat and round, black glasses, and run, walk, jump or crawl the 
3.1-mile route. The proceeds would go to the Waldo Canyon Firefighters Fund.

Much to her surprise, more than 1,000 racers showed up and more than $20,000 was raised.

Last year's second annual race brought out 2,700 racers and raised more than $55,000 for the Trails and Open Space Coalition and the Rocky Mountain Field Institute.

This year, Foster hopes to break the world record for the number of Waldos and Wendas in one spot. The United Kingdom holds the record, she says, set in 2009 when 3,872 of the costumed characters gathered in one spot.

To benefit Trails and Open Space Coalition and Rocky Mountain Field Institute, 8 a.m. Oct. 26, 8:30-9:30 a.m. yoga class, food trucks and exhibitors, 10 a.m. group photos, 10:30 a.m. race begins, America the Beautiful Park, 126 Cimino Drive, $35 includes Waldo or Wenda costume kit, $40 day of the race; thewaldowaldo.com.

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JEN MULSON, THE GAZETTE, 636-0270,
JEN.MULSON@GAZETTE.COM

A&E and features reporter