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Outrunning the undead

April 6, 2012
By KAYLA VAN DYNE - The Scene , Times Leader

The zombie apocalypse is something that we all need to prepare for! Okay, maybe there will or won't be a zombie apocalypse, but those who love the brainhungry undead and wish to become one or for those who are terrified and want to prepare for the worst, both have a chance to live out their dream with the Run for Your Lives 5K.

Yes, this is an event where runners will run 3.1 miles through manmade obstacles consisting of hills, wall, mud and pools of blood. Yes, blood because what Zombie Apocalypse wouldn't be complete without pools of blood, even if it is fake. Hopefully, it's fake.

Runners will run in waves consisting of 350 to 450 people lining up at 10 minutes intervals. While runners can chose to not to do an obstacle if he or she can not, though they will face a penalty, they can not avoid the zombies. Along with number bibs, the runners will wear a belt with three flags that will represent the runners life force, which the zombies will try to grab these flags. When all the flags are gone, and the runner crosses the finish line, he or she will become a zombie because the virus needs time to set in - naturally.

There are several different types of zombies runners, crawlers, walkers, and climbers. Part of rules, other then no direct and intentional physically violence between runners and zombies, and runners can't tempt zombies with their gushy brains because that's just mean. And while there will be an after party, runners and zombies can not be intoxicated. No body likes a drunk zombie.

And runners can not carry weapons to protect themselves from the undead.

At the end, all runners will receive a medal for their survival or transformation into a zombie. The top three men and women from each wave will be awarded prizes. The divisions are separated by age and there will also be a different division for those participants who are active - duty, whether it is army, navy, marine, etc. All participants, whether he or she wishes to be a runner or zombie, must be 14 or older.

"I found out about it on Facebook," said 27 year old James Sayre of Wheeling, who has competed in the Warrior Dash, but never something like this. "Its seems like it would be a lot of fun rather then the normal race."

As far as training for this, the website has suggested run, watch zombie movies and run some more which is what Sayre has been doing.

"I have (been watching movies), mostly Zombieland. It is more related to the race, and the best way to prepare. I have also been researching how to make fake blood ... Just in case there is a real zombie there," said Sayre.

Another aspect of this 5K, other then its uniqueness, is the Apocalypse Party, where zombies and runners celebrate their victories, survival or transformation together. The party will have live entertainment, games, food and drinks, and all things zombie. More information, such as rules and what to bring, can be found on there website or their Facebook page.

This year 12 locales were picked, including one in Pittsburgh, Pa., where Sayre will be running for his life. More dates and other locations can be found on their website as well.

Van Dyne can be reached at



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