Sunday, October 23, 2011

Zombie Chase 5K

Me and Jana before the race. 
So Friday, I competed in my very first Zombie Chase.  Judging from the name of the contest alone, you can imagine the setup.  Some runners, namely the survivors, get chased by other runners known as the zombies.  I was a survivor.  I chose to be a survivor because the thought of being chased sounded like fun.  It brings back the childhood exhilarance of being chased by your dad who was bound to catch up with you and tickle you until your bladder gave way.  Thankfully, none of the zombies tried to tickle me, but you know what I mean.  I met up with a former co-worker and current friend of mine, Jana Fuller.  We haven't seen each other in a very long time as we've both been busy having and raising babies, so it was super to see her again and even more super to be running a race with her.  We got to the start line and were told that we would have a one-minute head start at which point the zombies would be unleashed. 

This is the survivor with the bat and cigar.
So we start off.  I think I started off at a pace a little faster than normal, but I was going to be chased, so the adrenaline was already there making my legs move faster than I perhaps wanted.  Jana and I were passed by other survivors who took their role very seriously.  One man was decked out in army gear with 6-inch hunting knives strapped to his belt.  Another survivor ran with a duffel bag, a cigar, and a baseball bat.  I don't entirely understand the cigar part of his get-up.  Jana and I were dressed as normal runners.  We didn't even think to dress like these guys.  Then other survivors just dressed up as whatever.  It was a Halloween event after all.  One dude passed us in, I kid you not, a sports bra and a mini-skirt.  He actually had the physique to pull it off, but I'm sure glad the wind left his little skirt alone. 

This is the gentleman in the sports bra and mini skirt
Then our one minute was up.  A bull horn sounded the uncaging of the zombies.  I didn't know what would happen should a zombie catch up with us, but then one did and he just kept going.  And then another one went by and then another.  So apparently they weren't going to "tag" us or slap a zombie sticker on our back, we were just trying to beat the zombies to the finish line.  One thing I did realize about the people dressed as zombies is that they signed up to be a zombie because they knew they were fast.  Even with the delayed start, zombies zoomed past us left and right.  And there were a vast array of costumes to behold.  At some point I passed the zombie Michael Jackson from Thriller all decked out in true Thriller fashion.  Some zombies looked as though they had turned into zombies right after prom.  Others looked just looked gross and thoroughly decayed. 

Michael Jackson look-alike
These ladies win the award for the best zombie make-up
As Jana and I ran on, I realized that she was definitely faster than I was.  I was working harder than I ever have in a 5k.  I kept up with her for the most part, but the last mile I fell behind.  But my goal was, and has ever been, to not stop running.  Slow down...sure.   But stop?  Never!  So I eased up a bit to catch my breath, but I did not stop running.  The tendon in my foot that bothered me in the Nite Lites race started acting up again.  It feels like something is ripping and it always makes me run a bit awkwardly and more slowly.  But when I had a half mile left, I had my breath back and my foot was fine again and so I picked up the pace.  About 200 meters out, I started to sprint.  The final turn into the finish line was on a dirt road with tire rivets and I prayed I wouldn't bite the dust as I was going as fast as I could.  I ran past the finish just as the clock said 26:49.  My last 5k was 3 minutes longer than that, so I definitely beat my best time!  Jana finished about a minute or more ahead of me.  I think she said her time was 25:30 making it a personal best for her too.  I told her that beating my best time was all due to her.  I wanted to keep up with her and so I ran harder and pushed myself.  So I thanked her for the motivation. 

Zombies waiting to come get us
From my first 5k to this one, I have shaved off 10 minutes from my time and I'm thrilled about that.  I did the math and during this race I had a 8:27 mile.  I'm mighty pleased with that and I hope to improve even more with each run.

It was a fantastic last race of the season.  While I'm going to keep running, I'm done with races until spring.  But any time you can run in a novelty race like this, do it!  It makes the run more enjoyable and the memories of it even cooler.   It would have been a bit cooler had we actually been running in the corn maze that was there or if the zombies would actually do something if they did catch up with a survivor, but it was still fun.

UPDATE:  After the final results were emailed to the runners, by actual time was 26:30! 

Jana bookin' it to the finish
I was running much faster than this picture makes me look, I promise.

After the race with the kids.  The boys had pretty much decided that they were done with this silliness.

1 comment:

cleggclan said...

This looks like it was so much fun! I think its awesome that you can look back and see that you've shaved off 10 minutes on your 5k over your "running career". Those are the kind of things that can really motivate a person. Thanks for sharing your story! You always motivate me. :)