Well, it sounded like fun...
In order to make sure I got myself out running last weekend, I signed up for the Zombie Apocalypse 5K at the North Valleys High School, to benefit their Couch to 5K running program. I thought - cool, a 5K obstacle course, dodging zombies along the way, how could that not be cool?
And really, most of it was. It was pretty well organized, and despite their almost selling out all 500 slots they had, the lines weren't too bad. The course was perfect - some dirt, some pavement, a surprising amount of hills. Obstacles were pretty good too, with some climbing ones, some crawling ones, and a weird tire-pulling one. Only had to wait at an obstacle a couple of times for people in front of me.
The zombies, though, was where it fell apart for me. The runners were briefed that we were not allowed to contact the zombies, an the website says that there is to be "no intentional physical contact between the runners and the zombies." In the heat of the moment, though, this seems to have gone out of the window for the high school kids who were dressed up as the "zombies." To the point, in fact, that I was knocked to the ground 5 times within the 9 "zombie zones" in the run. Once off of the trail and head over heels into a sagebrush, and twice hard enough that my hat and glasses came flying off. (Mostly by the girls, in fact, they were more aggressive than the guys...) On a couple of occasions, I was basically tackled.
Now, the format of the run was that each runner had 3 flags on a belt, flag football style. If the runner made it to the end of the run with even one flag intact, they were eligible for prizes, but if all their flags were gone, they weren't. I'm not sure how the "zombies" were briefed on how hard to make things, but it seems to me that if you set most of the runners up to "fail" - be caught by the zombies and therefore be ineligible for prizes - it's not going to be fun for most of them.
I did manage to finish with one flag remaining, only because the zombies that knocked me down in the final zombie zone felt bad and let me keep it. By that point, though, I had a sour enough taste in my mouth from the whole thing that I didn't feel like waiting around for the prizes and just went home.
Results are out, as well as photos and a survey at this link: