Greater Oklahoma City Zombie Bolt 5k Charity Run
Happy October zombie lovers! ‘Tis the Season for zombie runs! Everyone sing it with me, “It’s the most, wonderful tiiiiiiime, of the year!”
Over the course of the next month, the undead will be invading cities and towns all across America along 5 and 10 kilometer courses. If you have the opportunity to participate in such an event, I guarantee you will have a deadly good time. I ran such an event yesterday, and I’m back with some pointers to help you make the most of your experience.
On October 4th, I had the pleasure of attending Zombie Bolt, a smaller, locally operated zombie 5K in the greater Oklahoma City metro area. I wasn’t sure what to expect, as I have previously participated in the infamous Run for Your Lives obstacle course, and barely lived to tell the tale. Quite frankly, if you are a little older, not much of a runner, or not straight out of Marine boot camp, that a smaller, non-obstacle race is absolutely the way to go. This event had several hundred runners and zombies, as opposed to several thousand, so everything from registration to parking was much easier than at a larger event.
The quality of zombie make up tends to be better at smaller events, we had some fabulous zombies along our course, including many zombie children, dressed to a grossly disturbing degree. At this race, not only did zombies litter the course, they literally ran after you in their own wave. Runners were given a 60 second head start to get as far away from the ravenous horde as they could, and then with the blare of the horns used in the movie The Purge, they were set loose after us, and some of them were much faster than the average runner. Seeing a milky-eyed zombie clown sprinting after you definitely upped the motivation when you wanted to stop and walk.
At this event, as with most like it, you are given belts with flags on them that represent your life. The zombies’ goal is to take said flag from you. In my personal experience, there is little you can really do to prevent this from happening. I’m not too ashamed to admit that I really, really tried. I wrapped each flag around the belt three times, stuffed the belt beneath the waistline of my pants, and pulled that thing as tight as I could. They still got one from me, I think the Velcro is just too easily detached. That, and the grandmother in a house coat looking zombie that got me held on for dear life when I tried to bolt past her.
So, is there any way to really “win” a race like this? Of course there is, if you are one of those annoyingly over-zealous competitive freaks who runs marathons for fun. That isn’t really the point though, remember guys, these are supposed to be FUN. You win just by participating and having a great time. One tip I would give anyone is to not take these races too seriously. This isn’t a show of your physical prowess, it is just supposed to be a good time. Everyone gets the same medal at the end, anyway. There is zero incentive to run out like Usain Bolt, and in fact if you do it is to your detriment.
That brings me to my second pointer, which is stay with a group. There is safety in numbers. If you really, really want to keep your flags, you need human shields blocking for you.
My most important tip, however, comes from what happened to me that day. You need to hydrate. Seriously. Water stops along most of these races are few and far between. I didn’t drink enough water in the hours before the race, and when we got to the rest stop we were literally offered a Dixie cup of water. If it is warm and sunny, and especially if you aren’t used to running, you will get seriously and dangerously dehydrated very quickly. Run with water if you can, or if you want your hands free, really drink a lot of water starting 24 hours before the race.
If any of you have participated in a zombie run or walk, or if there is one in your area soon, please tell us about it! We’d love to hear more feedback and more tips are absolutely welcome.