6 AM Saturday Morning. I was up and ready for the day’s Zombie Run. I had been looking forward to doing a zombie run for a long time. The hubs and I are
ever so slightly extremely obsessed with zombies. We joke that we run and do OCRs as practice for the coming zombie pandemic. A zombie run was going to be an ultimate test. The problem: I was 99% sure that if Jay- being a little TOO trained as a ninja- was attacked by a pretend zombie, he might not-so-pretend decapitate the poor volunteer. I was torn about registering us.
Then a friend, Phil, asked if we wanted to head down to Skirmish USA (where Savage Race had been held) to run The Zombie Run for his birthday. Mud Run Guide had a discount code for the thing and it was pretty cheap to begin with so why the hell not?
So anyway, back to 6AM. Jay and I were totally thrown off of our race-day schedule because this run didn’t actually start until 3PM. Jay was like a little kid waiting for something really special.
Jay at 9:45AM: “Can we leave now?”
Me: “No, we told my mom we’d drop the kid off at 10:30/11.”
Jay at 9:46AM: “How about now?”
Me: “No, we told my mom we’d drop the kid off at 10:30/11.”
Jay at 9:48AM: “How about now?”
Me: “ARRGHH” And I went and hid somewhere with my iPad until it was actually time to go.
We got to he venue by 1:45ish. It was completely decorated with blood spatter and tombstones- a Halloween lover’s paradise. We checked in and received our swag- a drawstring bag and a tee shirt- and our gear- bib, belt, and 3 flags.
The flags were our ‘lives.’ Extra lives were available for a $10 donation to the Kennedy Krieger Institute for kids dealing with brain injuries/disorders.
We milled around the ‘secure zone’ that was less than secure against the undead. There were tons of zombies wandering around and they looked amazing.
We even got a pic with the most awesome abominations ever created by the Umbrella Corporation.
By 2:30 the zeds were all sent out onto the course. At 3PM, the living began to be chosen to begin the 3 mile journey from one safe zone to another through zombie-infested territory. We were put into a shipping container, which was way too reminiscent of the end of the last season of The Walking Dead.
We rushed out into a camouflaged area to receive instruction from the guy in charge of this post-apocalyptic outpost. While being briefed on the situation we were all attacked from behind by a small horde of zombies. I didn’t actually see them, but I knew they were there from the screams of “Oh SHIT!” from everyone behind me. I ran like a little bunny rabbit until I couldn’t run anymore. Then when I slowed down, I realized that the entire field I was running toward was overrun with the infected. As I bolted, a zom-bitch took my first flag. There were others around her, so I tried to dart to the side to clear them and ended up getting tripped my some long grass and diving hands and knee first into the ground.
By some miracle, the zoms didn’t pounce on me. I guess they were distracted by the dozen other people trying to pass. I scrambled back to my feet and headed to the next safe-ish spot.
This was going to become the pattern for most of the 3 mile run. Run from zombies, walk or run cautiously through the woods, dodge zombies, run for dear life from zombies, repeat. In one of those repeats I lost another flag.
I think this was the only real obstacle (besides the zombies) on the entire course.
There was also a cargo/fish net type dealie that you had to crawl under. At the end of that crawl, there was the reanimated corpse of a Tough Mudder casualty (he’s in the top zombie picture in the blue shirt and signature orange headband.) They do not bill this race as an obstacle or mud run, so I can’t complain.
There was also an optional rope climb. Ringing the bell at the top earned you an extra life flag. I suck epically at rope climbs, but I waited at the bottom of the sole knotted rope in hope that maybe the threat of crossing the finish line infected would help me up. The woman ahead of me on the rope then started climbing up the structure holding the ropes in the air. She dinged the bell and was given an extra life. The dude with the flags said I could do it, too. So I grabbed the rope, failed at climbing it the right way, and the went all King Kong on that scaffolding.
And then I couldn’t reach the stupid bell. I yelled “DING DING” and climbed back down to collect my extra life.
We ran through the castle that we ran through at the Savage Race, only this time it was completely infested. I managed to elude most of the zombies. Until I almost ran into the red and black tutu-ed zombess. She was eyeing my flags and I was eyeing the escape route behind her. I faked to one side and then darted around her the other way, barely escaping with my remaining flags.
We came to the end of 3 miles and knew there’d be some zeds to pass to get the finish. We did not realize just how many, though. That big white tunnel was hiding at least a dozen walkers. The large group that I ended up in decided just go at it in a V formation that quickly disintegrated into everyone just scattering like cockroaches. It was CRAZY and I lost my last original flag somewhere in there. Thankfully, I still had my extra life flag. But then there was another barrage of zombies between the tunnel and the end of the run. They were everywhere, so my only option was to just bolt straight through and hold my arm down to protect my last flag. I barreled by this one zombie-dude that looked like he was going to grab my flag, but at the very last second, he snapped my sport bra strap instead. I yelled, “What the FUCK!!” and then quickly apologized to all the spectating kids and their frowning mothers before continuing to sprint because, um, ZOMBIES!!!
We sprinted together through the rings of fire signifying that we had made it to a safe haven, free of infection. It only took us about 41 minutes (untimed event, going by Jay’s watch.)
Survivor medals and shandies for all!!
Well, at least for all in my group of me, Jay, Phil, and Derek. Many other people were not as lucky. Having crossed the finish line flag-less, they received the red Infected medal. They still got the shandy, though, so I guess being undead isn’t all bad.