Five kilometers, 300 zombies and 12 obstacles will be standing in the way of runners in the Zombie Survival Dash on Saturday, Oct. 27 in Robertsville, Mo.
“You can’t hop on Facebook without seeing people talking about what they’d do during a zombie invasion,” said Chad Weber, coordinator of the Zombie Survival Dash. “Here’s their opportunity to prove it. See how they’d react to several hundred zombies.”
The Zombie Survival Dash is a 5K race during which runners will be traversing obstacles such as mud pits, small crawl spaces and walls. All the while, volunteers playing zombies will chase the runners and try to “infect” them.
“We have the zombies invading the course well in advance. So when you are turning a corner, you never know what’s around that corner,” Weber said.
Runners will wear a belt with three flags on it representing their health. If the zombie players pull all the flags from a runner, that runner has been infected and can no longer win the race. However, he or she can still finish the race as normal but not be considered for awards.
Weber is offering a discount to all Webster University students, faculty and staff who want to participate in the race after discovering that a lot of the runners signing up were from Webster.
Travis Strong, a moderator for Webster’s Humans vs. Zombies game, said the students of Webster are drawn to events like the Zombie Survival Dash and Humans vs. Zombies because of the creative aspect of both.
“We are a campus of nerds. We love our sci-fi, and if you incorporate that into an element of reality, that’s gonna bring people out,” Strong said. “If I could put face paint on and run for my life in a fictional setting, I’ll go exercise, I guess.”
Weber said he has been a fan of zombies for years and turns his house into a zombie invasion site every year for Halloween.
“We have really gone all out, even having interactive elements that played zombie survival tips and a video on our garage door for people as they drive by, and the audio they can tune in on their FM radio and listen to these tips,” Weber said. “We got crowds and crowds of people dropping by saying, ‘Hey, you should charge for this.’”
After initially trying to hold the run in 2010, Weber said he is excited for the first of what he hopes to be many runs around the country as Weber plans to tour the country with this event. Outside of the run, events are planned for the whole day, including:
— live music
— zombie survival challenges
— grenade throwing contest using military practice grenades;
— body drag race
— laser tag marksmanship contest.
Additionally, there will be a “Would you eat it?” competition where contestants will eat items such as tarantulas and mealworms.
“I’ll be rooting them on, telling them why they should do it,” Weber said. “But is anything going into my mouth? No, no.”
So far, 3,500 have signed up to run. Weber plans to cap participants at 5,000. Registration for the run ends Oct. 18.