Move over zombie walks. The next evolution of the zombie infestation has arrived in the form of “zombie infested” 5k obstacle course runs. These obstacle course runs are like many other obstacle based running events except that in addition to a series of obstacles these runs feature herds of zombies who will chase runners throughout the course. Zombie clusters are staggered throughout the course, and runners must complete a “gauntlet” run at the end to get to the finish line which is a series of punishing obstacles surrounded by zombies. There are several different companies putting on zombie runs but the most popular runs a race called Run For Your Lives.
Originally Run For Your Lives started off in just a couple of states and was an underground event, similar to how zombie walks have been run in recent years. However the race promoters managed to tap into the unprecedented popularity of zombies in popular culture thanks to the success of The Walking Dead and Run For Your Lives events exploded almost overnight. Run For Your Lives races are now being run in 22 states with more states being added all the time. Anyone over the age of 14 can sign up to run the course. People who don’t want to run the course can sign up to be zombies who go after the runners. Zombies pay a reduced fee and are given a complimentary undead makeover by a team of special effects artists on the day of the race.
Runners start the race divided into waves. They are herded together behind a gate to wait for their scheduled run time. Each runner wears a belt with several flags on it, similar to what is worn during a game of flag football. If a runner gets to the Finish line with at least one flag that runner has survived the zombie apocalypse. If all of the runner’s flags are taken by zombies that person doesn’t survive the zombie apocalypse and becomes a zombie. Health packs are hidden throughout the course that contain extra flags, so runners who lose their flags still have a chance to survive. Runners have to use strategy and physical strength as well as the support of their fellow runners to get through the course without losing their flags. Runners are encouraged to group up to help defeat the zombies. The race course is a post-apocalyptic wasteland of creepy abandoned houses, obstacles to climb over and under, and a lot of water and mud.
Run For Your Lives is more than just a zombie infested 5k run though. After the race there is an after party of epic proportions featuring live bands, DJs, and a lot of dirty and tired survivors partying with zombies. Part Burning Man festival and part end of the world blowout it’s the perfect way to end the experience of a zombie 5k run. Start training today so you will be able to survive the zombie apocalypse.