If you ever want to know what kind of zombie or survivor you would be if the zombie apocalypse ever occurs, I highly suggest you participate in the Run for Humanity 5K and 10K. You will learn a lot about yourself and how you would fair in a world taken over by the dead.
The Run for Humanity 5K and 10K took place on October 15, 2017 at beautiful Champoeg State Park. I signed up to run the 10K as a zombie and since I have little to no experience doing zombie makeup, I decided to show up early to take advantage of their “zombie services”. They had a person there doing zombie makeup that covered me in fake blood and rotting skin. In about 2 minutes I looked like I had been dragged in a full-on zombie attack. It was perfect. Next to the zombie services was the hit of the pre-race festivities, two zombie goats named Hero and Butters. The goats gave us hope that post apocalypse we would still have adorable zombie pets.
It was a cold morning but the race was very well prepared for this, they had a covered area with a heating lamp. The pre-race festivities were some of the best I have seen, there were vendors that were all survival themed and an awesome photo booth with zombie accessories such as meat cleavers and knives. It was a really fun way to get ready to race and before we knew it, the zombies were being called to the quarantine.
The quarantine area for all the zombies was blocked off with yellow crime scene tape, which was a very creative touch. They explained the rules, letting us know we could not tackle survivors and that each survivor had on a belt with three flags hanging from it. Our goal as zombies was to collect as many flags as possible. We would start 30 seconds after the survivors started and our course would merge with their course shortly into the race. The 5K and 10K started all together, so with that, we heard the survivor gun go off and 30 seconds later our zombie siren went off and released us on to the Champoeg trails.
As we hit the course and caught up to the survivor runners, it was all about grabbing flags. At this point in the course, it was pretty dense with runners and about a 4:1 ratio of survivors to zombies. So, it was just plucking flag time. Most survivors were great at juking and sprinting off the course as we got close to them. My zombie style was to not waste my energy on the ones that avoided me but to get the easy prey that didn’t scatter as we came close. Many survivors took to wrapping their flags around their belt and holding their flags for protection, which made it literally impossible to take their flags. The race also had planted zombies on the course which were a nice and very creepy addition. But it took the survivors attention off the running zombies, which I appreciated.
Approximately a mile and a half in the 5K and 10K course split off into separate directions. I took the left turn towards to 10K course and into the wooded trails of Champoeg Park. The race got very quiet on the 10K course. I could see about 3 people within catching distance of me and I slowly stalked them before reaching them at mile 3. The course followed trails coated with fallen leaves and it was slippery. As survivors tried to move away from me, slipping was inevitable. Since I didn’t want to cause injuries, no aggressive zombie techniques were used. If I could easily get a flag, I would. Since there were few people on the course at this point, my opportunities were limited and I only got one flag after we left the 5K. Survivors weren’t the only ones at risk of falling.
As we hit the turnaround point of the race I had the opportunity to see a couple survivors running back at me and I was able to turn around and go after some survivors behind me. But going after the leaders caused me to slip and the survivors behind me had no flags left. Soon I broke out of the trails and returned to the 5K course as it was ending. I finished with my hands full of flags. I ended with a total 42 flags. The post-race fun was put on very well. Seven Brides Brewing was there with beer and cider. A band was playing the awards started shortly after the end. The prizes were huge baskets full of survival fun. They were awesome prizes and great incentives to dress up and get as many survivors as possible or to not get caught if you were a survivor.
Overall, I had a blast at this race. It was different and fun. For being the first Run for Humanity, it was put on extremely well and was well organized. The pre and post-race was fantastic and I was very impressed with the prizes. I highly recommend this race and can’t wait to run it again next year!