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October 28, 2011

Zombies...RUN! Good Guys Finish Last.

This past weekend on October 22nd, my friend Charles Vassallo (aka Jazz) and I particapated in the first ever Run For Your Lives race in Baltimore. What is Run For Your Lives? It's an apocalyptic 5k race with rough torrain and 12 man-made obstacles, on top of that... you have a horde of "Zombies " chasing you and trying to eat your brains. Well not real zombies of course, but a bunch of volunteers dressed in full zombie make-up and clothing. Also not really eating your brains, but the zombies try to steal your life lines (3 flags). The object of this race is to survive and get through the obstacle course alive with a life line. Just imagine, flag football and a mix of 'American Gladiators' obstacles and zombies. Oh yeah... only downfall of this race, you can't fight off the horde. So any physical contact with a zombie, you are immediately eliminated from the race.

Jazz (left) & me before the big race.
When I first heard about this race, I was thrilled. I've always imagined how well I would perform if ever a Zombie Apocalypse were to ever happen. Of course after watching numerous zombie flicks, I was sure I would do great. So I hollered at my boy Jazz, and we were up for the  challenge. We signed up and trained for a month and half for the big race day. I cut down on my usual weight training routine and focused more on cardio workouts. Basically running on the treadmill. By the end of my training, I was able to run 3.25 miles within 28 minutes. Which is good for me, because I'm not much of a runner.
Game Face On! Let's get those Zombies!
The big day finally came. As Jazz and I got to the race we were hearing what to expect  from other racers that ran hours before us. Warning us about certain obstacles and the type of zombies we will encounter on the field. There were 3 types of zombies that we would face. The walking ones like in the original 'Dawn of the Dead'. The runners like in the 'Walking Dead' series and the sprinters like the ones from '28 Days Later'. After hearing that, it made us more excited.

 We picked up our racing packets at the sign in booth. In the packet, Jazz and I were given special chips to wear to monitor our time from start to finish. We were given our 3 flags and our racing numbers. We were then brought into a dark corridor with about a 100 other racers. Soon a loud buzzer went off and everyone dashed out into the field and we were off.
Our first obstacles were 2 huge hay stacks. I bolted to one of the stacks and got up as fast as possible. As I reached up the top and looked down, all I saw was chaos. Nothing but mass hysteria,  runners being chased by hordes of zombies. Runners that reached the bottom of the hay stack were getting picked off one by one by zombies waiting for them at the bottom. I managed to reach the bottom and made it through the first few zombies but was lost in the confusion. Ducking and diving zombie attacks and trying to not collide with other runners. I remember zipping by a few zombies and out-ran a few.

After the 1st quarter of the race. I lost Jazz in the mix. I knew he was ahead of me and we made an agreement before hand if we lost each other, to not wait for the other and continue the race. So basically Jazz ditched my slow ass and I was on my own the rest of the way. Since my goal was to survive and not to race against the clock. My strategy was to travel in numbers rather on my own. Traveling out on my own, I knew I would easily get picked off. I tried to keep the weak runners in front of me and used them as human shields and zipped by them when they were getting picked off. My strategy worked well at first, I was able to make it  pretty far without losing a flag. Until I lost one because I was cornered by zombies and another because I slipped in the mud and a zombie got me while I was down. So I had one flag left... yes, I could of cheated and put it in my pocket, but I didn't travel all this way to cheat. Now with one flag left, I really had to amp up my game.

I encountered a few more obstacles like crawling through tubes, scaling a 15 foot wall, going through a pool of muddy water, trekking up and down muddy hills . About the time I made it near the end of the race, I was winded.

Finally, I was on the last leg of the race. I knew I was near the end because I can hear spectators cheering  as contestants passed the finished line. The last stretch was a tough one, it was an uphill climb in thick mud. About the time I reached the top, I was winded but had to dodge a few more zombies to reach the finish line. I was able to make it past them and was off to the finish line with my last  flag.

Until my last flag was picked off by a zombie who disguised himself as a runner. I honestly thought he was an injured runner. Everyone was zipping by him and he wasn't making any moves for the runners flags. He was slouched over and winded. His make up was done so well, that I thought he was bleeding on his neck and face. I passed him but ran back because I actually thought he was hurt. I patted him on his back and asked if he was okay. But like a fool, I fell for the trick and lost my flag to a smart zombie. I guess it's true, good guys do finish last. Oh well, next time I know not to help anyone in the race or in an actual zombie apocalypse.

So I finished the race in 52 minutes and was greeted by Jazz (with 2 flags left) at the finish line who clocked in 41 minutes. All in all the race was great, we truly had fun and we can't wait for the next race in 2012. The obstacles were easy to get by and the only difficult part was getting through the uphill mud and dodging the zombies. My advice to anyone doing this race is to train on your cardio and travel in numbers so you don't get picked off easily.
More Injuries
Uh, this ain't chocolate.
Fucking guy ditched me :)
Our Special Olympic medals
Strictly For My Ninjas
Angry Birds
Special Ops, Super Trannie, Zombie Girl


  1. Nicely done! Great photos!

    I heard about this in August when I did the Warrior Dash. There's one scheduled for San Diego in April 2012 and I plan on signing up. Let's do it! :D

  2. Piiish, Nah... San Diego? I'm not willing to travel to San Diego for a race. I don't think anyone from NYC is willing to travel that far for a race.

  3. Na, def not to san diego but Boston, Brooklyn will be in the the Mutha F'ing house. Zombies, here i come for round 2. Jazz

  4. Nice write-up Lockheed! I am interested next year!

  5. Lets put together a CCD team for Baltimore in May... who is down?

  6. You guys have fun.
    Nice pictures, Lock. Good job, Chigga-man.

  7. I have heard about theses. looks like great fun. I bet we'll see one of these in NY soon enough.