Stood in a field on a Sunday morning equipped with a belt holding three tags attached by velcro whilst the music from the film 28 Days Later blares out over loud speakers isn’t how most people spend their day of rest.
Today though, I was gearing up to take on one of the more peculiar obstacle races you can do, the Zombie Evacuation 5k.
Having done a fair few races in my time, I was pretty disappointed (I say disappointed, in reality I was quite p****d off) with the organisation of the event up until actually getting underway. There were major technical issues with their registration system which resulted in me getting no pre-race information virtually having to hunt for the venue and when I turned up my voucher was registered in somebody else’s name.
To their credit, the very nice supervisor lady manually registered us and I soon forgot my disappointment when we were lined up at the start ready to begin the fight for survival.
That fight didn’t take long to arrive as just a short jog from the start line appeared the first ‘interactive’ obstacle. I say interactive because in other obstacle races, there aren’t hordes of the undead on hand to pick you off!
The premise of the race is to complete the course with at least one of your life tags left attached to your belt in which instance you’d be classed as a ‘survivor’ and receive your survivors medal. Those who lost all their tags became ‘infected’ and received an infected medal.
The course itself was five kilometres of undulating farmland terrain, which was clearly marked by flags to ensure that you didn’t end up face down in a ditch somewhere.
In terms of actual obstacles, there weren’t that many. There were a few things to crawl through/under and a few to climb over, all of which didn’t really present too much of a challenge.
Some of the areas or ‘kill zones’ required more blind luck than anything as a combination of tight spaces and a mass of the undead meant somebody was losing a life!
The finale was also pretty intense. Imagine the 200m sprint whilst trying to avoid becoming an appetiser!
I wasn’t expecting there to be quite as many zombies littering the course as there was. Some were stationed at the obstacles and would take competitors lives as they navigated the obstacle. Others were positioned along the narrow course meaning a combination of speed and agility or hiding behind the nearest slow person was required!
Some would amble towards you and not give you too much of a problem to get past (think classic Night of the Living Dead style) whilst others greeted you with a scream immediately followed by a burst of pace as they tried to take your lives (think 28 Days Later style).
All however played their part brilliantly and I was impressed with the efforts put into the outfits and make up!
I could compare this event to the other obstacle races out there but I don’t think it would be fair.
The Zombie Evacuation 5k doesn’t offer much in terms of a challenge that seasoned obstacle runners would look for compared to the likes of Tough Mudder but then that’s not what this event is about.
The Zombie Evacuation 5k offers those new to the obstacle racing scene an entry level event with a thematic twist, that geeks like me along with the plethora of zombie adoring fans can enjoy without worrying about months of training beforehand. Though I would add that if you want to survive, you might want to refer to the first rule of Zombieland – Cardio!