Scared and chased by legions of the undead, no you didn’t nod off during the latest episode of “The Walking Dead,” you’re actually Running for your Life!
The Run for your Lifes Zombie Infested 5K Obstacle Course Race, is a new take on the traditional 5K and a tweak on the Warrior Run Obstacle Course. That tweak is Zombies. Real, chasing and eat your brain Zombies. If, of course, we replace the brain part with flags. It comes to Boston on May 5 and 6 and you can still register to run for $87.
The event is the creation of childhood friends Ryan Hogan and Derrick Smith, who came up with the idea as a way to profile Hogan’s gear line Warwear. The came up with the name “Run For Your Lives,” but were unsure as to what the race would actually be.
“What do people run from,” they asked themselves and being a fans of the hit AMC show “The Walking Dead” the answer was clear and on October 22, 2011 the first Zombie run happened in Darling, Maryland.
“People have always been obsessed with the idea of the afterlife or the unknown,” Smith said. “People can finally test out their zombie survivor skills in real life.”
Run for your Life is more than just a race, its a weekend event. Aside from the actual race, the spectacle includes a camp out, Apocalypse party, alcohol, live bands and a bar crawl the night after in Boston.
Now you may be asking yourself, where do they get the live zombies? It’s actually not that hard when you consider they volunteer. Anyone over the age of 14 can sign up to be a zombie on the course, complete with zombie training and professional make-up and wardrobe.
The Boston race isn’t exactly in Boston, but rather 50 minutes north east in Amesbury, Mass at the Sports Park, but there is a good reason for that.
“There is a huge zombie following in the New England area and Amesbury Park offered a great course and venue for RFYL to hold their event,” Smith said.
Run For Your Lives goal has been to sell out each race at 10,000 participants. The Boston race was so popular that RFYL added a second day to the event. The popularity of the event over the last year has been above and beyond what was expected.
“The response to RFYL has been tremendous,” Smith said. “Something about actually running from zombies and not just watching them on TV or in movies has really resonated with people from all walks of life – from zombie nerds to fitness buffs. Everybody seems to want a chance to run from zombies, or dress up like one!”
With the growing popularity Smith and company are looking to continue growing the event and having a bigger and better Apocalypse Party with more bands, more giveaways and more celebrities. When asked who the ultimate “get” for a celebrity would be to attend a future RFYL Smith was open to just about anyone.
“Any actors from the Walking Dead or actors/producers from some of the more popular or classic zombie-themed movies,” Smith said.
The course itself is a mystery to the hope-to-be survivors as Hogan and Smith have intentionally kept the details secret. There are between 10 to 12 manmade and natural obstacles, which change for every course.
“Run For Your Live is all about providing people with an awesome experience and keeping these details tightly under wraps definitely creates that air of mystery and uncertainty for runners,” said Smith.
From the start of the race, Runners are equipped with a flag football style belt with three flags. The object is survival. Get to the end with at least one flag remaining to remain alive, lose them all and become infected.
You don’t have to be a runner or zombie to be involved. You can also buy a spectator pass that allows you access to special viewing spots along the race and the Apocalypse party.
Run For Your Life is the most unique 5K you will ever run. Whether you are a seasoned vet, first time runner or zombie nut job looking to live out a fantasy, Run For Your Life is like nothing you have ever done before. Just please leave the guns and blunt object at home. No violence is required to survive this outbreak.