I wish I could say that the entire day was a blast…but it wasn’t.
Saturday was the Run For Your Lives Obstacle Course Zombie Race. Deb and I had looked forward to this for months and couldn’t wait to get “zombified” and get out on the course to terrorize some runners. (Watch the video at the bottom of the post to see what happened on our day of Zombie adventure)
The basic premise was for runners to navigate a 5k race through various obstacles while also avoiding being “killed” by zombies that would be stumbling or chasing after them. Each runner would start out with a set of flags (a typical flag football belt and flag setup) and the zombies would try to relieve them of said flags as they worked their way through the course.
We were really looking forward to this for months. We spent the night before the race really getting our costumes nice and grimy out behind Deb’s place. We stomped and dragged our clothes through dirt, mud, grass, leaves and puddles to get them that crawled-out-of-the-grave look. Neighbors were really looking at us strange until we explained what we were doing.
The morning of the race we got up extra early and jumped in the car and got on our way. We left 5 hours before our scheduled shift as zombies was to begin. We wanted to make sure we made it the 90 miles with plenty of time to spare so that we could take in the entire experience.
But we were not that fortunate.
We made the first 86 miles with no problem but once we got off the highway the logistical nightmare began. We sat in traffic for nearly 3 hours just to get into the parking area. The parking area was an enormous field of what appeared to be foot deep car devouring mud. Cars were getting stuck everywhere and making navigating to an available spot an adventure. We had to park so far in the back of the parking area that there wasn’t any mud…but there was 3 foot tall grass to get through instead.
Then, once we found a spot, we had to stand in an hour-long line for the shuttle bus to take us to the event. By now, we were already beyond our 1pm shift start time. Without the traffic backup we would have arrived right around 10am…but almost 3 hours had passed and we were just getting on the bus.
And then the bus dropped us off with about a half mile to walk until we reached the check-in area. Luckily checking in was fast and we were quickly inside the event area and on our way to get into our Zombie gear.
It really didn’t take us all that long to get our clothes changed and rushed through the makeup and blood and grime application process.
Getting into makeup
Getting nice and bloody
And then we were ready to head out to our little hill to try to kill off some runners.
From the moment we stepped onto the course we were having a great time. Our little area was a hill not to far from the main party area and it was on a pretty severe slope. The runners would start at the top of the hill and then come barreling down into our group of zombies. I was slammed into, knocked down and jumped over. There were also times when I was straight up pummeled with forearms, shoved, punched and kicked. While we were having a great time stumbling around and trying to grab the flags I do have a few things I would like to ask any future runners to take into consideration:
- The Zombies aren’t real. We are just people (like you) out there trying to have a good time. There is no need to throw punches, stiff arms or knees. Seriously, the odds that you are going to actually win a prize is so slim that there isn’t really any reason to try and hurt someone volunteering to try and make your race that more enjoyable.
- Flags on your crotch. Really? Do you really think that is going to stop us from trying to grab your flag? All it did was get all of us zombies together, in an Us vs. Them mentality, and make us want to go after your flags that much more. After jamming my fingers on about 100 crotch shots I finally decided to go in fist first. So if I punched you in your junk or slapped you square in the hoo-haw…it is your own fault.
- Don’t be a cheater. If your flag gets grabbed just suck it up and move on. Don’t pick one up off the ground like a little punk. Also, don’t wrap your flags around your belt, tuck them into your pants or hide them under your low hanging gut and XXXL t-shirt. Saw so many people doing each of the items above that it was ridiculous. Have a bit of class.
Even though there were an inordinate amount of dicks barreling down that hill it was still a fantastic time. The other zombies were making the day so much fun. That was until Deb had a runner slam into her at full speed and knock her down and out. She immediately moved off the course saying that her ankle was really hurt. She was being really tough about it and kept telling me to stay out there and have fun even though I could see she was in some serious pain. She did take a bunch of videos with the Flip while she was sitting on the sidelines but I felt so bad for her.
After 2 waves of runners had passed and Deb was still hurting we decided it would better to get out of there and make sure her ankle wasn’t messed up bad. So she leaned on me and we made our way back to the Volunteer shack to see if we could find some help. We found a couple of nice people who said they were EMTs but I am not really buying it at this point. Everyone felt that Deb had a pretty bad sprain but we weren’t offered any help other than wrapping up the ankle.
Even though we could see carts zooming passed the doors of the shack every few minutes we were told that they weren’t allowed to give us a lift to the busses to try to make it back to the car. So we had to slowly start making our way to the busses. That is a half mile of Deb struggling to take every step and me trying my hardest to carry all of our bags and have most of her leaning on me. It seemed to take forever but we did make it to the busses and then back to our car.
And after visiting the doctor today we found out that my little soldier did that all on a broken leg. A broken leg that is more than likely going to have to have surgery to repair. So yeah, thanks for the help EMTs.
So pretty much, the first third of our day sucked with the traffic and parking situation, the middle third was just awesome and the last third was just ultra shitty. My poor woman is now going to be laid up for at least a month with this injury and I feel so bad for her. But this is how cool she is…she said it was all worth it because she loved that middle third so much and she is ready to go again next year.
That is one crazy lady. And that is why she rocks.
See you again next year Zombies.