Monday, September 24, 2012

Running for My Life

This past weekend we (Eric, Gage, myself, my brother, sister in law, and 4 friends) had the opportunity to take part in a 5K run/obstacle course created by Run For Your Lives that included being chased by zombies.  'Cause running 5K and completing physical obstacles isn't hard enough (especially when you are in as poor shape as I am!).  After doing some research in preparation to signing up, we discovered that you could do both!  You could complete a zombie shift AND run the course as a runner!  Win-win!

The creators and volunteers put together an amazing event.  I don't know how long they've been doing these but this was the first one in Canada.  I must say it was flawless (aside from the weather which is, of course, uncontrollable).  Everything went off perfectly (except for the total collapse of the starting cages, immediately after our particular heat, from the wind - thankfully no one was seriously injured).   It was probably the best experience I've had during an event of this caliber.  Right from the parking and check in stations, to the costume department and make up tents and the actual course and obstacles - amazing.  It really was so well done.  Kudos to all involved who put this together and helped pull it off.  I really am looking forward to doing this again if they decide to bring it back our way next year. 

I was blown away with the make-up department set up.  All of the people they utilized to transform us 7 a.m. beauties into scary zombies were so talented and friendly.  The pace was quick and kept us all excited for the next things to come our way.  They had a wardrobe department, air brushing stations, prosthetic stations, blood splatter stations, liquid blood stations, mudding and blooding stations, free snacks and bottled water stations, and personal belonging check stations.  They really did think of everything (they even had a make-up removal station when we finished our shift).   We looked so good after passing through all those check points. 

Walking out to our station (we were zone 3 - a stretch of forest) amongst the trees, which made for great cover and gave that shadowy, ominous feeling just built the excitement up for us.  I located a sign nailed to a tree and jokingly said I'd hide behind the sign and jump out and scare people.  Because there really was no way they couldn't see me.   Eric stood just ahead of me on the opposite side of the path thus forcing people to run closer to the sign and low and behold the runners were so focused on Eric that when I stepped out from behind my sign I really was scaring the shit out of them.  So gooooooood!  I suffered a couple minor injuries (two of which are actually making it difficult to type):  a wrenched ring finger that is bruised and swollen when it got caught on a runner as I reached for a flag, a thumb nail that has a pool of blood under it after some asshole runner grabbed on to me and kept running (a no-no) and I got punched in the face (totally by accident, the runner even stopped to apologize).  All still worth it though. 

Following our three hour stint as zombies (which went by so quickly, I'd have been content to do it for the whole day, it was that fun!) we counted all of the lives we stole and then headed over to make up removal and received medals, free t-shirts and beer tickets!  The medals are great quality and so are the shirts, they didn't scrimp on anything here.   We then made our way to the van to change clothes and get some food before we were due to report for our own course run.  The weather was turning a little at this point and becoming cooler and much more windy.   I was dreading the race (because I hate running) but now I was looking forward to it because I knew it would warm me up. 

We made our way over to the starting cages (titled Appetizer, Entree and Dessert - the Appetizers got released first) to line up for our heat at 2 p.m.  We decided it was best for us out of shape runners to take the Dessert position so we weren't glomming up the track. The dark clouds were starting to move in on us which made it even more appropriate.  Coming around the first bend we encountered our first obstacle (mud pits 1 - Holly - 0).  Covered in mud makes you feel even heavier than you are!  Aside from zombies staggering all over the course the next obstacle we hit were  the climbing walls.  And while they don't seem that high, after running and being caked in mud it was hard to find the energy to pull myself over them.  The 3rd obstacle was a maze of darkness that took me longer to figure out than I was anticipating.  After making our way out of the maze and through another couple of hordes of zombies we entered a darkened house (through a window) full of smoke with hanging electrodes that zapped you if you hit them.  It was hard to avoid them as they were everywhere and there were zombies in the house that scared the shit out of us thus making it even harder to avoid.  We then had to climb under barbed wire (yes real barbed wire) on our bellies through the mud,  through long covered tunnels on our knees through the mud (good luck if you are claustrophobic), up a fenced wall and down a slide into a pit of cold mud and bloody water and then under an electrified fence through the mud on our bellies.  It was a messy day but so, SO much fun.

I hope the planners had a successful day and it will be worth their effort to come back again next year.  It will be super great if they add some new obstacles and remove a couple of this years.  It was fun not really knowing what we had ahead of us when we ran the race.  I remember the feeling that came over me when I turned the corner to find the three mud pits....and then the feeling of the smile creeping over my face as I embarked on my mission.  

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like an absolute fun filled and totally exhausting day....what a great concept and idea