On a recent trip to visit the family of my better half**, his Mum signed me up to do a 5k obstacle course with her in a couple of months time. This got me thinking about the one and only time I have ever done a 5k.
I don’t believe in running unless you are being chased or heading towards a sale, so the Zombie Run For Your Lives 5k sounded about right for me. You run through an obstacle course while being chased by zombies who try to grab the Velcro ‘flag’ from your belt. If you’ve ever been to a Halloween Horror Night at Universal Studios, picture that but the Zombies are grabbing things from you. Oh and it’s hot as hell. And muddy.
So I signed up thinking I would train beforehand (I didn’t) and we actually ended up going to Oktoberfest the night before the race. Another amazing idea of mine…
I quickly aligned myself with a platoon of bad-ass looking police officers who were doing the run for charity, hoping I could disappear into the center of their group and be protected. I was wrong. They fanned out all over the place (a plan I would have known about if I was actually in their group) and I was left out in the open like a deer in headlights.
I should note that this was also the day I realized that chivalry is in fact dead, after one too many ‘gentlemen’ ran into me or pushed me into a zombie to save themselves. Thanks boys.
Within about 5 minutes of running, my first flag was taken. The other two quickly followed. When the last one was ripped from my belt I let out a really embarrassing cry/whimper and followed it up with what I though was my threatening and scary revenge look, ‘I’ve seen The Walking Dead, I know where to hit you. Now where’s my sword…’. Turns out I must have looked more pathetic than threatening because the zombie actually felt sorry for me and gave me back my flag. And then I was off again. Zombies do have hearts!
Not even 2 minutes later my flag was again taken by a nasty little bugger who was lurking outside of the maze I had just ran through. My only satisfaction out of this was witnessing the guy behind me, while I was stood there stunned, barreling out of the maze and punching the zombie in the face, as he roared past. The zombie let out a very effeminate and whiny ‘oooow that guy punched me’ and ran off. Where was that guy 2 minutes ago when my last flag hadn’t been taken yet?!
So I had decided to just keep running and finish the race, when I looked down and noticed that the zombie who was punched must have dropped my flag when he ran off. I was saved! I picked it up quickly and placed it back on my belt then set off running, determined to survive.
Alas, it was not to be. My flag was once again taken very quickly by a gang of cheerleader zombies. And I was still a good 3k or so from the finish line.
What I learned (and I think this is good to know) is that if there is a zombie apocalypse, I will 100% die. I was given five chances to live. Not three like everyone else. FIVE!! And I still failed. I guess another excuse to start getting a little brit healthier?
I wish I could offer up some tips on how to ace this 5K, or finish up the story with ‘I went back the next year and kept all my flags!’. But I can’t. The only thing I can suggest is that you take a group of people you are willing to sacrifice and practice your pouty face on the off chance you run into that one friendly zombie who was so kind to me. Oh and maybe throw some punches. It worked for that one guy.
**Better at cooking and rapping