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Best Idea For a 5K Race Ever: Have the Runners Chased by Zombies

Bloody Good Fun

As someone who takes part in a small variety of fitness activities and also loves everything about zombies, this is probably the most brilliant combination of those two things that I have ever seen: Run For Your Lives, a 5K “marathon” and “apocalyptic” obstacle course taking place in various locations in the United States in which the runners are chased by zombies. No, this is not to raise funds for research into curing the zombie virus or spreading zombie awareness. This is a purely fun — and possibly educational — event that is sure to please the geekiest of athletes. This is something, I think, many of us can get behind.

The event takes place in several cities beginning with Atlanta, Georgia on March 3. After that, it travels to Boston (May 5), Minneapolis (June 2), Indianapolis (June 23), and several other cities, ending with Austin (December 15). And here is how it works:

Runners are given typical running gear — a t-shirt, racing bib, and flag belt, “just like the overly intimidating game of flag football.” That flag belt will have five flags on it that represent the runner’s health. Using their skills and strategy, the runners are tasked with holding on to all of their flags while zombies try to steal them. Or, in zombie terms, eat them. But there will be “health bonuses” throughout the course that can prevent runners from reaching the point of death, if the runner can hold on to them.

The obstacle course contains 12 natural and man-made obstacles such as small bodies of water that may or may not contain blood. There is an opportunity to opt out of completing the obstacles, however runners who do that will be labeled “zombies” and will no longer be eligible for prizes. No matter what happens, whether you win, you become a zombie due to zombie attacks, or you opt out of obstacles, your time will still be recorded.

Then there is, of course, the zombies. Don’t worry, they do not physically attack the runners. They merely go after the flags and try to grab them. But there are rules that the zombies must obey — this is a competition for them as well as the runners:

You are to never grab more than one flag from a runner.
You must obey your zombie group leader at all times. Trust them, they will lead you to a glorious undead victory.
Stumbler zombies are never to run and chase down a runner.
Chaser zombies must run and chase runners during their shift. We understand you will need time to rest but we don’t want you standing around your entire shift either.
A zombie must complete his/her shift in order to receive the zombie perks. This includes signing in when you arrive and signing out when you are finished your shift.
Any visibly intoxicated zombies will not be allowed to participate and will not receive any of the zombie perks.
All zombies must be 14 years of age or older by race day in order to participate

In case you’re more interested in being a zombie than a runner, some locations are taking applications!

The whole thing ends with an Apocalypse Party, to which runners, zombies, and spectators are invited as long as they get their hands on an Apocalypse Pass. Because this is a celebration — of surviving a zombie apocalypse.

I almost can’t get over how cool and awesome this sounds. If any readers of The Mary Sue are participating in Run For Your Lives, definitely get in touch with us (tips [at] themarysue [dot] com) and tell us all about it, especially if you’ll be taking part next weekend in Atlanta!

(via Run For Your Lives)

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