Can You Run Faster Than a Zombie?

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Evan the Diplomat
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Can You Run Faster Than a Zombie?

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:57 pm

I hope these guys are ZS members and I wonder if they would lets us have a recruiting table. If you read the article, they plan on holding a dozen events around the country. The article says the first event attracted 12,000 paricipants, I think that has huge recruiting potential.



KNIGHTSTOWN, Ind. -- Daniel Smith had run over hills, scrambled through streams and climbed over walls on a recent hot Saturday here, when he came face-to-face with his greatest obstacle yet: a field full of zombies.

He dodged through about 20 groaning, glassy-eyed antagonists with oozing facial wounds and streaks of red splattered across their clothes. "I felt like it was just nonstop sprinting for my life," said the 18-year-old from nearby Yorktown.

Mr. Smith, who runs high school track and cross-country, paid $87 for the privilege, while the zombies chasing him paid $25 -- and got a free makeup job and, for those over 21, a complimentary beer at the end of the race.

Obstacle-course races and zombie-themed events -- from proms to marches to film festivals -- have been spreading across the country like a flesh-eating bacteria. Now, a series of races called "Run For Your Lives" are bringing the two together.

Runners wade through pools of fake blood, duck under electrified wires and try to avoid letting zombies steal their "health flags" worn on a belt around the waist. A runner with no flags left is ruled dead -- or is it undead? -- and isn't eligible for awards at the end of the five-kilometer race. Crossing the finish line alive is no small feat: Only about 20% of racers make it with at least one of their three flags left.

Mr. Smith had managed to hold on to his flags through several close encounters with zombies when he suddenly found his path blocked by a pair of female twins in checkered blue-and-white dresses, their faces bruised and heads cocked to one side. "They looked sort of demented," he said.

He dodged to the side and into a shin-deep creek to pass them, but lost his first flag to a grasping hand.

Zombies come up with their own outfits, but organizers do their makeup, including pale skin, sunken eyes and fake blood -- a mix of corn syrup, cornstarch and food coloring -- splashed on their clothes. Adhesive plastic molds and red goo give some zombies gaping wounds.

Zombies preparing for the race here lined up to stand in front of a hanging white sheet and have a makeup artist throw handfuls of blood on their backs and chests before they set out to populate a 70-acre course rigged with water pits, log barriers and monkey bars.

"That felt really good because it was hot out," said Michael Packer, who drove 45 minutes from Indianapolis with his girlfriend and two other friends -- all wearing surgical gear. "It soaked through pretty well and it stayed wet for a long time."

Reed Street Productions, a company based in White Marsh, Md., and formed by two friends in their 20s, is making a killing on the races. It held its first race just last year near Baltimore and unexpectedly drew 12,000 people, the company said. It will hold a total of 13 similar events in cities from Boston to Los Angeles this year. Next year, it hopes to double that. The company said it expects revenue of $18.8 million this year, but declined to disclose its profits. Between 3,000 and 10,000 people participate in the races, with about 5,000 at the event here.

"Why a zombie race?" asked Derrick Smith, co-founder of the Run For Your Lives races and no relation to Daniel Smith. "We came up with the name, and we said, 'Well, what do people run from?' We figured zombies was going to be a pretty popular idea," he said.

Indeed, zombies seem to be everywhere these days, including on television. AMC Networks Inc.'s apocalyptic zombie drama "The Walking Dead" has drawn millions of television viewers.

Zombies in the Run For Your Lives races are split into two groups. "Chasers" run after racers to grab their flags, while "stumblers" are supposed to "crawl, shuffle, drag, or perform any other type of slow movement in order to horrify runners and take their flags," according to instructions for zombies on the race website.

Mr. Packer, a 41-year-old software designer, was a chaser. He was resting in the shade when two men dressed as Elvis emerged on the path up ahead and began jogging toward him.

He looked around as if sensing the presence of the Elvises, then reached out with his clawed hands and lurched toward them and two other runners, his back stiffly bent.

"I went for the wide-eyed, slobbering, drooling zombie growl," said Mr. Packer. His startled targets leaped into a sprint down the path to escape.

Runners Kate Christensen, a 30-year-old microbiologist from Oconomowoc, Wis., and Cindy Rasmussen, a 30-year-old biochemist from Whitewater, Wis., wore plastic hula skirts with hanging green strips that made it harder for zombies to grab their flags. And when Ms. Rasmussen lost her third flag, she started running interference for Ms. Christensen.

"We worked together as a team and tried to use other people as bait," Ms. Christensen said.

But the zombies worked together too. Daniel Smith, the high-school runner, lost a second flag when a large group of zombies forced him to one side of a path, allowing a chaser zombie to catch up to him. He later dove into a mud hole to protect his remaining flag.

Mr. Smith continued on to a maze, where he narrowly escaped a different chaser, and climbed over a cargo net. With the finish line in sight, the race had one more surprise for him -- a low, electrified fence to crawl under. Mr. Smith dropped to his elbows and started pulling himself forward.

"I looked up to look at the finish line and got zapped in the head," he said. "It stung pretty good." (Organizers later turned off the electricity when a combination of exhaustion and dehydration caused adverse reactions in some runners.)

Mr. Smith learned after he went home that he had finished with the fastest time among living finishers. His prize, which he has yet to claim, was a set of zombie paraphernalia including a keychain, a Run For Your Lives T-shirt and drawstring bag. Asked whether the prizes were worth the ordeal, he hesitated and then said: "Not that much."

Credit: By Owen Fletcher
Last edited by Evan the Diplomat on Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Zombie Run Organizers Rake in the Dough

Post by found mojo » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:23 am

I read about this morning. Sounds like a Zombie Tough Mudder.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 14246.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Evan the Diplomat
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Re: Zombie Run Organizers Rake in the Dough

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:14 pm

The Company website just talked about their event organizing services, but if we could know roughly when and where the other Zombie Runs were going to happen, we could make a pitch to let ZS set up a recruiting table.

Stupid me, I should have Googled the event name not the company organizing it.

Here is the upcoming race schedule.

http://runforyourlives.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Can You Run Faster Than a Zombie?

Post by zombiebbq » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:40 pm

I went and did the run for your life zombie run in Denver last weekend and it was freaking AWSOME!!!! The obstacles were cool but the electric shocks stung a little. The zombies were very good. Some were slow some were fast. That didn't matter once you ran into a horde fast or slow; numbers overwhelm. Sorry to say I got dead. I an going to try to go to another onein st Louis. I would highly recommend Going and testing your skills its a blast. Well. To anyone who does try it good luck run fast and live full.
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Re: Can You Run Faster Than a Zombie?

Post by RomeoRockwell » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:47 pm

They Posted about this in ZSC:020

http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 97&t=82471" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I plan on trying this out. :mrgreen:

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Re: Can You Run Faster Than a Zombie?

Post by clubmatt78 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:31 am

Hey guys I just joined the forum and I actually work for the company that puts on Run for your Lives. Glad to see that you all are interested it is great fun. We are looking for volunteers to help at all of our events you can get more info about it on the web site if your interested. There is an event on 8/18 near St. Louis if anyone wants to go and check it out. I think runner registration is still open for a day or two.

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Re: Can You Run Faster Than a Zombie?

Post by clubmatt78 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:49 am

Check out the new video!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKEVbC0G ... ature=plcp" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Can You Run Faster Than a Zombie?

Post by jackal556 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:20 pm

We just had RFYL in Pittsburgh this past weekend. The bruises on my knees and elbows are starting to heal. We had 9 ZSers at the event in various forms. From what I surmise, Pittsburgh was the toughest course due to the massive cardio workout on the first half mile and the incredible numbers of zeds. To put it in perspective. The zombie tickets sold out. The runner tickets did not. The "survival" rate was maybe 10%. Zack ruled the day.

There is more on our thread. http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 0&start=24

And to answer the question in the subject of the thread: the shamblers, obviously, can be out run; chasers, on the otherhand, different story. Shamblers will have both feet on the ground, which gives them a good base of movement, and further reach. It can be really deceptive. As for the chasers, here's what happened to me.

If you watch the videos in our thread, you can see the head-mounted camera footage and get some idea of the layout of the course. After the "shock house" (with the wires hanging down), there were two patches of zeds. In the second patch, there was a lady soccer player zack (she's in one of the videos) and she locks on to me. So we make eye contact and she is set on my last flag, on my right side. It's time for me to use some of my soccer skills. Amongst my friends, I was fair at best, but RFYL is not soccer. I zig to the right. Then, I zag to the left, and she's tracking me the whole time. At the last minute, I juke to the right, putting my flag out of her reach and to the side of the course. I can get away and move to the next patch of zeds.

But then I hear footsteps coming up behind me at a super-fast pace. I'm kicking it even faster, but not fast enough. An unseen hand snatches my flag from behind. I'm "infected". At this point, I slow down because I'm no longer zack food.

What happened was, I slowed down to dodge the soccer player and do fancy footwork, but in doing so, I had to speed back up to avoid the chaser who was already at full steam and he was able to catch up to me.

I'm doing it again next year and, hopefully, have more people to cover for me.

Also, if we were able to field 10+ volunteers we would have been able to get a space at the Apoco party. So, other chapters, keep that in mind.
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Re: Can You Run Faster Than a Zombie?

Post by clubmatt78 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:09 am

If anyone is going to be going to the Baltimore Comic Con Run for Your Lives will be having a booth so stop by and ask any and all questions you may have. We are going to be at booth number 1906. Hope to see some of you there.

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