Tag Archives: Run For Your Lives

Another reason we are going back to Run For Your Lives next year…

Zombie Deb

A little over 3 months ago now, Deb and I were brimming with excitement to get our Zombie on and try to terrorize some runners at the inaugural Run For Your Lives event up near Baltimore. For those that don’t know, Deb and I were zombie volunteers and it was our job to try to “kill” runners during the 5k obstacle course. Unfortunately for us, Deb is the one that got “killed”. What started out as a day of fun turned into a pretty nasty ordeal.

My poor woman was trucked by one of the thousands of runners coming down that crazy hill we were on during the race. What we initially thought was a sprained ankle turned out to be a pretty bad break. The trooper that Deb is, she walked on that broken ankle back to the volunteer’s staging area, through the throngs of partying/drunk people who had finished the run, and to the long line to get on the bus to get back to the car without much complaint. Had our situations been reversed….had I been the one with the messed up leg, there would have been no walking anywhere. One of those bastards would have carted me to an ambulance and I would have been in the emergency room with tears in my eyes. I am a pussy. My chick is not.
It turned out that not only was the leg broken but it was broken so bad it needed to be surgically repaired. A titanium plate and 6 screws were required to hold my girl’s leg in place so it could heal. Luckily she has a great job where she can recuperate while working from home and that she had someone with nothing better to do so I was able to be her live-in care giver. Over the 85 days since her little mishap I have been only away from her for 2 nights: Thanksgiving and Christmas. And over the one night during Thanksgiving she slipped and fell in the kitchen and it was very close to a “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” moment.

But after her surgery and physical therapy, Deb is finally able to put some weight on her leg now. She is still in a boot and on crutches but getting a little better every day. She can now get around using one crutch and she is excited to do things like get a glass of water on her own now. Her leg still swells up like that is it’s job when she is up on it for long but in a week or two she should be out of the boot and back in shoes…and that is making her giddy with anticipation.

If there was one bright spot for Deb during this period of injury it has been when anyone asked her, “So…how did you hurt your leg?” Most people are asking and expecting a typical “slipped on ice” or “missed a stair” broken leg story. And when she gives her, “I was run over when I was a Zombie” response everyone…and I mean everyone…has to dig deeper and hear the entire story. Everyone from the surgeon to her cat’s veterinarian have been amazed by the story and even a few of them have said that they want to go next year. If someone could go through this much shit and still talk about the fun they had it must be awesome.

And pretty much everyone has been on the Zombie bandwagon this holiday season. Deb pretty much had a Zombie Christmas this year. There was the tree covered in Zombie ornaments:

And I think she received Zombie gifts of one kind or another from just about everyone. She got a Zombie plush doll (which is now in her office):

A Zombie cookie jar that, oddly enough, really matches her kitchen pretty well:

And Zombie books, bumper stickers, candy, and car freshener (but it wasn’t the dead body smell we were hoping for):

And just when we thought that the Zombie gifts had stopped rolling in there appeared a package at our front door yesterday. It was a care package from the folks at Reed Street Productions (those nice folks that brought us Run For Your Lives). You see, back in early November I had sent an email to their staff explaining what happened to Deb. In the email I explained that because of Deb’s injury we were unable to stick around after our Zombie shift and try and grab some souvenirs from our experience. I asked if they had anything left from race day that we could have or buy from them so that Deb could have something to frame or put in a scrapbook (the scrapbook that she keeps saying she is going to make but I doubt ever will get made). I had pretty much given up on hearing back from these guys because I sent the email back when they were getting crushed with emails from angry people the week or so after the race. But when we opened the box we found a nice little letter from the RFYL team:

And with the letter there were a couple of race medals that went out to the people that ran in the race, a bit of the RFYL police tape and a little Zombie rescue kit (which is freakin’ awesome) for Deb to add to her Zombie collection at work:

This little gift was unexpected and greatly appreciated.  It really brightened up Deb’s smile yesterday as we went through the box.  While we had both really wanted to come back next year (Deb is just gonna be a spectator and take pictures this time around though) it is the attention to detail and the care that these guys show for their customers/participants that is bringing us back again for sure now.

Thanks Guys!  See you next year.

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Run For Your Lives: 33% of the day was great zOMBie fun.

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.

Zombie Deb

The zOMBie

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.

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Filed under DC, Deb and I, Postaweek2011