Monday, June 10, 2013

Run for Your Lives!

I finally participated in the Run for Your Lives! 5K on Saturday, after months of anxious anticipation.  I was actually so nervous beforehand that I had a little breakdown in the car as we were pulling into the parking lot.  Now that it's over, I think it's kind of funny that I was so scared.  It was fun and very low-pressure (as long as you don't have a crippling fear of zombies). 

feigning confidence pre-race
The start times were staggered based on running speed.  Fast runners were "appetizers," medium runners were "entrees," while slow runners (like me) were "dessert."  This way, there wouldn't be people trampling each other to get away from the zombies.  It was a very diverse crowd; some people were very athletic, while others were just there for fun.

Zombieland taught us to limber up!
I started out running, along with everyone else.  The very first zombie I encountered took two of my three flags in one grab.  I also realized, along with everyone else, that dodging zombies in the mud is really tiring, so after a while everyone (including the athletes) started walking in order to save energy for zombie escapes.  They managed the race by giving out extra flags along the way.  Some people who were injured also gave out flags to people who didn't have any, while other people cheated by hiding their flags until the end.  Because of this, I still had one flag on the last leg of the run, but a zombie did manage to grab it from me in the end.

The zombies didn't actually chase us much.  They were stationed throughout the course in groups of three to five and would lunge at us to try to grab the flags.  Occasionally one would jump out of the bushes or from behind a shed, but it really wasn't as scary as I expected it to be.  The obstacles weren't so bad either.  There was a lot of crawling in the mud.  A LOT of mud.  We also went through "the smokehouse," which was a big, plastic box full of fog machine smoke that blinded everyone from seeing the electrified strings hanging down from the ceiling and the one flap that would let us out.  That part was a little intense.  There was a rope net that we had to climb over/down and it involved a bit of teamwork, with people holding the net at the bottom on each side so that it would be more steady for people climbing.  There was a little pool of mud with balance beams over it.  There was also a set of monkey bars.  I got to the second rung and then dropped down and kept running.  No one cared that I am monkey bars challenged.  I do wish I had tried to at least get to the third rung.  The second-to-last obstacle was a big water slide that released people into a pool of "blood" with "guts" floating around in it, but there was some damage to it at some point during the race, so they shut it down before I got to try it.  I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to do the big finale, but there was one last challenge coming up, so I had to keep going.  The final obstacle was crawling under a chicken wire fence in the mud... no big deal as we'd already crawled through mud for the entire second half of the race.  Except the chicken wire was electrified, so I had to practically swim in the mud to avoid it.  

I made it through, sans flags but basically unscathed.  They put a medal around my neck and handed me a free t-shirt and a free beer.  

Not the most flattering picture, but I'm proud of it.
not a survivor, but it was fun anyway
My only regrets: it would have been a lot more fun with a team (or at least a partner...ahem!), I should have tried a little harder on the monkey bars, I didn't get any pictures of zombies, and I wish I had gotten to slide into the blood pool at the end.  Something to look forward to next time!  My shoes are completely destroyed, which gives me a perfect excuse to buy a new pair.  I'm relieved now to not have this looming over my head, so I can spend my time exercising in ways other than running.  I will totally do this again, but I'm glad I don't have to worry about it again for a while.  

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