By: Alexandra Weston
People have several different ways of celebrating Cinco de Mayo. Some ate Mexican-themed food with their family. Some drank and partied with their friends. And then there were those 10,000 people who chose to spend their May 5 being chased down a grueling five-kilometer obstacle course by bloodthirsty zombies.
“Run for your Lives,” a zombie-infested 5k, sponsored by War Wear and Subaru, kicked off its national tour last Saturday in Amesbury, Mass. with over 10,000 race participants, zombies, and spectators in attendance.
Starting with the first wave of runners at 8 a.m. and ending with the conclusion of the “Apocalypse Party” at 11:30 p.m., the event was an overall success. Each runner had two “health-tags,” or flags attached to their hips. While running, zombies would grab at these flags, and those who had at least on health-tag left would receive a medallion. Out of the hundreds of runners participating in each wave, however, 10-15 would survive to the end with at least one flag intact.
Many runners waiting for their wave seemed anxious, like Jackie Diaz who said she hoped not to fail at all the obstacles; and for good reason. The race track started off on a steep hill and was landscaped with mud all the way around, which definitely proved a challenge for even the more athletic runners in each wave. Not to mention it was infested with screaming, growling and brain-thirsty zombies as well as a surprise at the finish line that won’t be spoiled for anyone interested in running it in the future.
With boarded up obstacles, many runners had no idea what was in store both inside and out of each one, and the zombies had a ball with it. Hiding in bushes or just off to the side of an obstacle exit, many of the zombies had their own style, objectives and scaring tactics in store for the runners. Andrea Dollet, a zombie standing at the top of the first obstacle, said, “I like staying close to [the runners] and chasing them down. I’m trying to get them running.” Other zombies, often times wearing ridiculous costumes, would either try to grab the runners’ health tags, try to get them to scream or make them slip and fall in the sloppy mud.
However, the event wasn’t all just mud and zombies. Each participant received a free beer, plenty of food, and 12 live bands for entertainment. Runners, zombies, spectators, and volunteers came from a long way for the event, with some hailing as far away as Quebec, Haiti, and England.
Many people need motivation for exercise, and there’s no better motivator than zombies trying to fest upon one’s brains. “Run for your Lives” was a fantastic combination of fun and exercise, and there is no better way to test your cardiovascular skills than putting it to the test against hordes of zombies. Do you think you’re fit enough to take the pressure? “Run for Your Lives” will be making two more appearances in the Northeast, one in Butler, PA on Sept. 1 and another in Darlington, MD on Oct. 27.