I was a zombie…and I ran. Quickest recap ever! You’re welcome.
Haha. You didn’t actually think I would do that to you did you? Of course not. Brevity has never been my strong suit. Just ask my parents. Or my husband. Or my friends…
From the minute I learned that Zombie Run, LLC, was coming to Mississippi, I knew I wanted in on the fun. So when I was offered a bib in exchange for my opinion, I jumped on it! Free race?? OK!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Zombie Run, the basic premise is that it pits zombies against runners in an epic apocalypse type event. Runners try to ‘survive’ and zombies try to ‘kill’ the runners – think flag football style. Runners also have to conquer obstacles throughout the 5k run which ups the survivability anty. It’s all in good fun though and proceeds go to benefit the Smile Train. Registrants have the option to choose whether they want to me a zombie (makeup provided) or a runner so it’s really a friendly event for all fitness levels. My decision took about 2.5 seconds….ZOMBIE!! (Please, I’m a runner every other race.)
Saturday morning I woke up and headed to the Harrison County Fairgrounds to meet some of my favorite Gulf Coast bloggers Larisa, Mindy, Holly, and Melanie to have a bloody good time playing zombies and chasing runners. We all got to the event about 1.5 hours early to get zombiefied. I went the whole Walking Dead route with my costume and tried to get some natural color realistic clothing. I found a drab dress at the Salvation Army for $3 – score! Larisa and Melanie did a whole Risky Business style.
After picking up our packets and trying to figure out where to go we finally headed over to the makeup area. A super cute make-up artist named Megan did my makeup; I told her to just have fun.
What was really strange was that there were no mirrors which mean none of us could see what we really looked like. That may have been a good thing. After makeup we made sure to snap some pictures.
Then a ‘zombie wrangler’ led us out to our part of the course. It was really funny being in complete zombie makeup and walking past the runners. I snarled at a few and gave others some pretty ‘hungry’ looks.
The zombie wrangler dropped us off at our area (we were at the end of the course) and explained what we were supposed to do. As runners came into our area, they had a chance to earn flags (flags = life) back by running into our zombie horde and finding a nerf arrow. They then had to climb this monstrosity and shoot a zombie. For each zombie they hit, they got an extra flag.
Since we were close to the end, we had a lot of time to kill (HA!) before the runners came. So what did we do? Well, there was a little zombie yoga and also some Harlem Shaking, zombie style, going on. Way too much fun!
About 10:20 we started to get the first wave of
fresh meat runners. I was positioned between the arrow/shooting obstacle and some large palates they had to hurdle over. Melanie and I teamed up to try to get the flags before they jumped the palates. While my costume was very zombie authentic, wearing a dress and sandals wasn’t necessarily ideal for chasing runners. I gave it my best shot and did snag a few flags.
I really had a great time egging on the runners and I surprised quite a few with my speed and agility in a dress. There were a lot of ‘oh crap, she’s fast!’ Teach them to underestimate me. Pfft. I also got a lot of ‘you’re too cute to be a zombie,’ ‘you’re the cutest zombie ever,’ ‘you have the best hair,’ and even ‘are you single?’ Apparently, I’m a lot cuter with zombie makeup on than I am in real life – lol!! If you ever want a confidence boost, be a zombie.
I had a blast chasing everyone but after about 2 hours of being in the direct sun (ZERO shade) we all started to wonder where our replacement shift was. A lot of the other zombies had already left but there were still runners coming so I felt obligated to stay. What fun is a zombie run without any zombies? This is one part of the race that definitely needs a bit of revamping for next year. Another 15-20 minutes went by without any replacements and I was starting to get somewhat dizzy. Low blood sugar,& no food since breakfast 4 hours earlier led me and the rest of our group to walk back to the finisher’s area. As we were walking back, we passed our replacements. 2 1/2 hours of running and lunging in the hot sun is way too long. We grabbed our finisher’s medal and t-shirts.
Once we made it back to the finisher’s area, we ran into Heather who had come to run it. Previously, we had all decided to run the race after we were done being zombies but the other girls were tired and had a half marathon in the morning so they headed home.
I stayed to “run” it with Heather. And I’m so glad I did. We had a blast tackling obstacles together! It was all about teamwork and fun. For a full recap on the run portion, check out Heather’s post.
I have to admit that after all the running and lunging earlier, I didn’t do much running during the 5k. I was still in my zombie makeup and outfit and figured out pretty quickly that if you scream “You can’t touch me, it’s cannibalism” it confused the other zombies and they left my flags alone. And yes, in case you’re wondering, I did do the run and obstacles in my dress. I have no shame….Sorry, Mom.
Heather and I finished and got our “Survivor” medal (I had previously gotten the “Infected” medal for being a zombie) and then we headed to the finisher’s fest to rehydrate. Unfortunately all they had was beer. It was pretty strange not to have any water or Gatorade or anything.
Overall, I adored this run! There were a few snafus (being on the course too long, lack of free drinks & food at the finisher’s fest) but I would sign up again in a flash. If you’re thinking of doing this run – go for it! If you’re a runner, I recommend that you get in the earliest wave possible since the zombies are fresh and ready for action. We (the zombies) weren’t quite as active during the later waves. And finally, if you’re going to do this run, talk everyone you know into going with you. The more you have in your group, the more fun you’re going to have! Oh, and wear sunscreen.
Question: Have you ever done a zombie run?
Disclaimer – I was given a free entry to this run in exchange for my opinion.