I guess I should start this post out as a race recap. So much has been going on, I could write about my crazy life and how it has been a whirl wind of events lately... along with grating nerves. I'm tapering for my half marathon this weekend and stressing out about the costume I'm intending to run 13.1 miles in...
Then it was my Squeaker's first birthday this last weekend. The same weekend that I was given a race entry to be chased by zombies by a fellow injured runner. I probably should have said, "No. I can't do it... I'm so busy as it is..." But it was a free race! The transfer was okay'd by the race officials and I'd be running for me, under my name and getting the pee scared out of me by zombies chasing after my two plastic lifelines hanging around my waist.
How could I resist?
Saturday evening, left me and the family traveling over to Dayton, Oregon for the Zombie Apocalypse Run.
So after getting the house set up for Squeaker's party the next morning....
|Squeakers enjoying her first Birthday Cake|
...the family boogied out the door to check out the party going on pre race that evening.
This event is very much about a family environment, being held on a local pumpkin patch-farm. The farm's market was open for local goods, a petting zoo was on site with a small hay maze, jack-o-lantern jumping house, large slide for the kiddies to play on and all sorts of amusements. The local fire department had a fire engine they were giving kids a lift on to circle the property (adding to the atmosphere that the area needed to be contained from zombies...) and there was a vintage tank in the distance along with the local national guard with their trucks and troops ready to help out. If that isn't enough to get you in the mood to run for your life, a helicopter is on site too. (You can pay $20 to ride in it post race.)
I really wish I had my camera available to snap some photos of the amazing costumes I saw on the run...
Here's me before the race:
|my DIY attempt at being a "Sugar Skull"|
I queued up with a woman in a 50's house coat, hair in curlers and a fake cigarette hanging out of her mouth. Some chose to wear camouflage and one person had a back pack on full of water balloons that his family would grab and throw at any passing zombies.
The zombies were forced to wait a whole two minutes while the runners were given their head start. The vintage tank fired a shot in the distance and that was our cue to start running. It was pretty difficult to get past the hoards of survivors. It didn't take long for there to be lots of walkers jamming some of the narrow trails and it was difficult to get past them.
There were just over 800 participants, though I can't tell you how many of them started out as survivors or were held back 2 minutes as zombies.
After our two minute head start was over, the sirens exploded in the distance to let us know that the zombies had been released. When those sirens started going crazy in the distance, my mouth went dry and my heart froze. I was scared. I hauled myself as fast as I could go, and I knew I was burning myself out fast. There was no pacing myself out... I had to get out of there! My first mile was done in 10:13 minutes, which is completely phenomenal for me with my average being 12:30. As my garmin beeped that I was at a mile and going crazy with excitement for setting a new record, I hit a very clogged piece of trail and could not edge around the groups of walkers. As i tried to politely nudge my way through, a hand brushed my waist. Damn it! First flag was gone and the zombie with it.
It was not long at all and the second flag was gone too by the time I was half way through the course.
Beyond not having a chance to survive, the race is a lot of fun. A helicopter (the very one you can pay to take a joy ride in) circled above us and shouted directions and warnings as we ran from the zombies.
The course takes you on dirt trails, open fields (with uneven footing on long grass) and through dark woods with fake fog and zombies behind a chain link fence leering and grabbing at you.
I saw a devil in a suit and tie standing in the distance just staring at us, and I was pretty terrified. His eyes were white and just little black dots for his pupils. Some zombie volunteers were in the path and pretending to make a grab for the runners who whipped by. My favorite zombie I passed was a zombie Mario playing the 8-bit dungeon music from Super Mario Brothers. That made me laugh out loud... Until he leered at me. Then I passed a runner dressed in a silver wig in a bun, little wire frame glasses and running with a wooden, bloody, rolling pin in her hands.
Nearing the end of the course, the path lead us through a road with fields of pumpkins on either side of us and then though a field of tall corn. I was certain I'd hear zombie moans or have one jump out at me... but neither happened. An opportunity lost, perhaps, but the anticipation of it was just as scary. After that, I rounded a bend and saw a barn with terrible laughter noises inside, machinery and screams of agony and horror to fill your imagination for the home stretch.
With that, I picked up the pace again and finished strong. The course ended up being 3.4 miles, but I still PR'd for a 3.1 race... :)
I guess all I needed was some zombies to scare me? Now to gear up for my half on Sunday, and baby my tight hamstrings for way overdoing it on those trail inclines at top speed.
Have you been chased by zombies? Or looking forward to any Halloween type races coming up (or do you avoid them)?