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Tips for Running a Zombie 5K

Updated on May 14, 2013

First Zombie 5K Run completed and 2013 starts a trend I intend to continue as I now plan tactics for my next zombie run.

The run itself, which I completed with Run for Your Lives, had elements I had expected from my research into videos of previous events and accounts from runners of previous runs. I expected the bloody messes and varied costumes the zombies wore. I expected other runners to be decked out from running gear, normal clothes and even costumes like the team dressed as the Avengers during my run. May I say I geek squealed more than a little at that sight!

There were also many aspects I had not been expecting and to track these for my own as well your future reference, because obviously everyone is planning to make that mad dash through zombie infested territory once in their lives, this article focuses on these unexpected points and lessons learned.

Take heed fellow runners and you may save your lives!


- Zombies will work together, coordinating and strategizing. This may not be normal zombie behavior but these are not normal zombies so be prepared!

-Zombies will not be randomly placed through the course. This is what I had expected but instead they were placed in "Zombie Zones". This is probably a safety precaution since your run will likely include uneven terrain even in the most flat areas.

-Zombies will not be one or two here and there. You will encounter, at once, roughly 15 zombies. This makes for chaos in both the zombie's and runner's ranks.

-Work with your team! Your team may have started as just you and one other runner before crossing that starting line, but after you get through the first "Zombie Zone" your team is now every runner in your wave. Make quick but sound decisions as to runner placement (those with no tags at the front and those with one protected in the middle is a great possibility) as well as moving as one so that the zombies have more living bodies to contend with.

-Conserve your energy, there will be lag time between obstacles and zombie zones. Take this as a chance to make up time & you'll drain your energy reserves, making you tasty zombie bait later in the course.

-You are never safe! Even as you reach the end of a zombie zone and start walking with your false sense of security, zombies from the zone you just came from are entirely likely to follow, possibly at high speed, all to eat your brrraaains, or just steal a flag, depends on their mood.

-Stay hydrated! There will be hydration stations along the route. Count yourself lucky as it is highly unlikely this will occur in a real zombie apocalypse and take the hydration as it is offered. Plus, the positive words of encouragement from volunteers manning the stations are more helpful than initially realized.

Are you ready to put your survival skills to the test? A zombie 5K is a fun challenging way to check on your cardio, avoidance tactics and ability to work independently and as a team at the appropriate times.

Not to mention, the run will prepare you for the inevitable visual gore of a true and impending zombie apocalypse. Those zombies were ready to chow down on some brains!

There are many options for Zombie Runs these days, from local events to national ones orchestrated in various cities by the same company. I do recommend Run For Your Lives but I know I too will be checking out other ones. No such thing as too much preparation!



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