Zombie Weekend

Oh, how excited am I to share the events of this past weekend with all of you? On a scale of 1-10, I will say a Z.  For Zombies, of course!  I signed up for the race in June, and I did a few month’s worth of running and P90-X to ready my body for the grueling task of running as fast as I can.  Sadly, I did not make it through the “zombie apocolypse.”  I “died” at mile 3 when a zombie threw her arms around me and snatched my last flag, killing whatever strategy I had for making sure I made it to the finish line with at least one flag intact.

Despite the fact that I was training, nothing could prepare me for the 20 hour drive to and back from Florida in a 72 hour period (who does that???).  I woke up early Friday morning, packed up the car, and headed down to Charleston to pick up my sister.  The car ride down was really not horrible at all, except for the fact that I wanted to shoot myself to take my mind off the awful back pain I was going through. Melanie kept me occupied by rocking out to church music(Video). We arrived at the hotel around 9, and crashed.

The next morning, we woke up and Mel was a bag of nerves.  She doesn’t do well with the thought of zombies chasing her (I was freaking manic with excitement), but her fears were eased whenever we ran into a few fellow runners at breakfast.

I am pleased to say a lot of people went out for the race with costumes like this cute couple.  I never even got their names, but I am pretty sure they survived, as well.  We talked about the race as well as our favorite zombie films, and, of course, Zombieland came up.  Which led us to the revelation that Hostess was filing for bankruptcy and Twinkies would no longer be available in a matter of months.  Well played, Mayans and your apocolyptic calendar.  Mel had never had a Twinkie before, so I vowed to help her find the cream-filled delights as soon as the race was over.  SPOILERS: We never found a one.  Again, well played, Mayans.

On our way in to the race, Mel and I were hugged by zombies (best hugs ever by the way), so we had a little “zombie blood” on us before the race even started.  Many were very jealous.  Funny thing.  Despite the mud, additional blood, and water, the zombie blood stayed on us, even past the time we showered off.  That is some powerful stuff there, that zombie blood.  Better than Tiger Blood, Charlie Sheen.

We piled into the car and made our 30 minute drive out to the race track (Video), which was actually a great four wheeler course. We got our bibs as well as our flags, and then we commenced with the ancient art of people watching.  And man, were the pickings abundant!

Take Mr. LMFAO for instance (with the green hair).  He decided to run the entire race in nothing but his scoobies.  And while you’re thinking to yourself “Yeah? And?”  Let me lay it down for you. Obstacles include splinters, electric shocks, and lots of mud.  Believe you me, there was no way I could possibly do that.  Not even if I had lady bits of steel.  Another great thing about this photo, if you can take your eyes off the whiteness of this man’s legs, is the starting line.  You got to choose which “wave” you wanted to run in: Appetizer, Entree, or Dessert (Video). Take a look at the ridiculously good-looking couple coming out at 1:07.  they ran with no shoes and hardly any clothes on, survived with flags, and they still looked ridiculously good once the run was over.  Yes, I was jealous. Mel and I chose entree.

After the initial people watching, the first wave of racers were coming back.  The daunting thing is that not a single person had a flag.  The zombies obviously ate their Wheaties that morning.  Also a good rule of thumb is not to run the first wave unless you are Speedy Gonzales and know you can outrun pretty much everyone on the course.  Speed is key, strategy, such as “grouping up” is not. But more on that later.

The course works like this…there is some flat, there is a lot of sand, a few obstacles, and some mud/water that you have to wade and crawl through along the way.  Then you have the zombies, which are broken up into the standers, the walkers, and the runners.  The standers don’t try to grab your flags at all.  They are there to stumble about and put you in the way of the walkers and runners, who will try to grab your flags.  Problem is, you have no idea which zombies are which.  Best thing to do is just run as fast as you can and don’t look back (Video).

This one was one of my favorites.  She is just a stander, but she is creepy as all get out. There were 17 zombie zones.  There were also health packs spread out along the way.  I never found one, even after I died and actually started looking for them.

Once I died, however, I really began to enjoy the race.  My goal at the point was to either find a health pack or distract zombies from Mel so she could run by.  Once we rounded the corner towards the final obstacles, we heard “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mixalot playing.  I couldn’t help myself, and neither could Melanie.  We began rapping and dancing along the last bit, much to the delight of the runners that were striding along with us.  The hardest parts of the actual race were the “charged” obstacles.  The first was a dark room, filled with smoke and zombies, as well as live wires hanging from the ceilings.  The goal was to get through, and that meant that at some point in time, you were going to have to get shocked.  I thought that maybe if I moved through it and pushed the wires aside with my hands and didn’t touch the ends, I’d be fine.  No dice.  The jolt of the charge went from my hand to my toes.  It didn’t hurt, but it did make me yelp like a chihuahua. 

The finish line had to be crossed under an electric fence. I am pleased to say, I didn’t get shocked on this one.  I barreled through it, and I got as low as I could.  Mel wasn’t as fortunate though. That fence got ahold of her.  But baby girl got through to the end with two flags on her hips.  I am one proud big sister.

Yeah, we rocked it.  There is nothing sexier than two muddy sisters that just risked life and limb to survive the zombie apocolypse.

Then came the celebratory zombie shots with these two guys.  They were very good zombies.  We were able to take a few pictures with them before they were put in their “cage.”

I love this shot, mainly because Melanie was having trouble with the camera, the zombies were literally breathing down my neck, and I was in the middle of yelling, “For the love of God, take the freaking picture already!”

He photographs very well.  🙂  We  “showered” off, if you can call it that.  Basically, it was a rigged up community shower area that was pumping water from the nearby freshwater pond.  So we had to keep most of out running clothes on and rinse off before we could go to the changing areas and put on dry clothes. Oh, yeah, it got sexy up there, ya’ll.

I was dressed in my apocolyptic best with my tux tee shirt.  I was here for the party!  Once we got cleaned off, we were able to sit back, enjoy some beer and burgers, and take it the rest of the day’s events.

Ermahgerd! Lerk! It’s Derl’s trerler frerm the Werlking Derd!  I honestly don’t know if it is or not, I just thought it was awesome, so I had to take a picture.

My biggest tips for the day:

  • Carb up
  • Don’t bring your nice clothes with you.  Wear something to change into that you have no problem with getting dirty or smelly. Because the showers just rinsed off the grass and mud, but not the smell.
  • Run as fast as you can.  If you are going to run in a group, stay towards the front.  Though the zombies may be focused on you for a moment, there are even more behind you.  Plus, if you’re in the middle, you will trip over people, and you are in danger of getting trampled yourself.  And then the zombies can really get at you once you’re forced to slow down.
  • You will have plenty of time to walk.  Conserve your energy, unless you’re going for the time-related awards.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for health packs.  They are usually located on the outskirts of the trail, hidden away.
  • Just enjoy it!  You will get messy, you are going to hurt in the morning, and you might even get hurt on the course itself.  Don’t try to be so competitive with it you end up twisting your ankle or hurting one of the zombies/runners in the process.  It’s meant to be a good time.  Not an actual race.

I would totally do this again.  They are having an event in Georgia next September.  I believe I am going to put my name in as a zombie, though, so I can run and chase people down.

Have any questions about the Run for Your Lives race?  I would love to answer them?  Know of any other zombie-related events?  I want to hear about them, too.

Want to actually run?  Click here!


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