Forget your gun, your sword, your axe, and even your chainsaw. One on one, these are suitable weapons against a slow or fast zombie, but when you’ve got dozens, maybe even hundreds of zombies coming your way, you better run! Pause to fire off a round or take a swing at the nearest zombie and the rest are that much closer to making a meal out of you.
Nope, when you’re outnumbered, the only thing you can do is run for your life. And when you’ve got hundreds more survivors surrounding you, all trying to evade the horde and make it to safety? Well, that’s when you know you’re at the Run for Your Lives 5K Obstacle Course Run.
The first RFYL event was held last year in Baltimore, but the event coordinators have since added many more cities, including Boston, Seattle, Austin, and my own Atlanta… plus many more.
Now, this is no typical 5k run. First, it’s got obstacles that will likely vary from city to city. If you watch the video, you’ll see water, hills of hay, and other obstacles that require you to climb, crawl, and duck. The event planners promise you’ll get dirty, wet, and maybe even a little bloody (probably from skinned elbows and knees). But the obstacles aren’t the only thing you’ll be dealing with if you participate. Nope… you’ll be chased by zombies, both fast and slow varieties.
Each participant will be given a number of flags (like flag football) that will be worn by the runners. It’s the job of the zombies to take your flags, reducing you to a card-carrying member of the undead should you lose all your flags. I can’t speak to all the cities, but the Atlanta run that’s scheduled for March 3rd promises 12 obstacles and dozens of waves of runners released in packs of 300 or more at intervals to make the run from Start to Finish.
Does it sound fun? Oh, yeah. I’m not much of a runner, but between now and March 3rd, I’ve decided to prep for it by getting my running shoes out and at least trying to make an effort to survive the walking dead. I’m also trying to recruit some local friends to participate — like the old joke about being chased by a bear, I don’t have to outrun the zombie, I just need to outrun my friends. But given that the event planners are not releasing details about how many zombies will be covering each of the twelve obstacles, I have a feeling it doesn’t matter who’s the fastest since based on snippets from the video, it appears that dozens of zombies will be placed directly in the paths of runners.
The rules state that the zombies cannot trip, hit, or bite runners; their sole job is to grab a flag. And what’s really interesting about the event is that instead of paying to be a runner, your can pay a reduced fee to be a zombie. You’ll need to arrive 2 hours before your scheduled shift to get a complete zombie makeover from some professional special effect makeup artists… and they encourage you to dress the part! Zombie spaces are apparently limited, so if that’s more your speed, you’ll want to check the official website and your city to see if space is still available on Team Dead.
But I’m a survivor. I plan on making it to the Finish Line, be it a waiting helicopter, an Army personnel carrier, or some pizza and drinks and live music. And I’m hoping to have some other geek dad survivors join me on March 3rd. We all know that in the movies, the scientists (geeks) rarely make it out alive, but maybe it’s time to prove that brain beats brawn, huh?
I’d like to thank Kerry O’Neill for kindly providing two free tickets to run that I’ll be awarding to two lucky GeekDad.com readers who would like to run on Team Geek Dad on March 3rd. If you would like to participate, leave a comment telling me exactly how you plan on surviving the Atlanta zombie infestation. I’ll pick two lucky winners from all comments submitted by 11:59pm EDT on January 12, 2012, who will each receive a free admission ticket as a runner in the Atlanta-based race. All comments are welcome, but if you’re submitting a comment to participate in the contest, add the line “I Want To Run With Team Geek Dad” somewhere in your comment. And please only do so if you really do intend to participate as I want to make certain the free tickets are put to good use. I’ll be posting a follow-up after the run, including whether I survived or now enjoy brain-soufflee, so stay tuned.
Images provided courtesy of HGL.