What's worse than running a 5k race? Running a 5k race while sprinting away from zombies who are trying to kill you. Brother Daniel called me a while back and told me I had plans for November 3. He said something about zombies and a race and it sounded like fun to me. With the cooler temperatures it's running season and we normally try to sign up for some races during the fall and winter. We read over the website and read things like "there's a reason they are called the walking dead" and we assumed we'd be running a race through fields of old school zombies. No big deal.
The red things hanging around our waists are flag football flags. Each runner was issued 2 flags and the goal was to finish the race as fast as possible with at least one flag left intact. Runners who finished with no flags were "dead", killed by the zombies and would not be eligible for prizes or awards. These little things are held on by a small spot of velcro and when you run they tend to hang in the air behind you like a little red zombie handle.
So here was my problem: Just before the hay bale pyramid I had my first real life encounter with fast zombies. They would jump out of the woods and sprint toward me. Keep in mind I've been running for several minutes now and all of the sudden I had to run as fast as I could from some very quick teenage makeup artists. Way too much sprinting and fast zombies. This was going to be painful.
Later in the race I almost lost my second flag to a lightning fast 12 year old girl. At that point I was one of the first runners to encounter the zombie zones. This one featured a sea of young and eager zombies and I swear this little girl was faster than me. I gave her my best football moves and she was steady gaining on me when I dove head first under the next obstacle. I heard her shouting to her friends that she had my flag in her hand twice and couldn't pull it. I had to crawl on my hands and knees for several yards under a black tarp and I was happy to find my flag was still attached when I got out.
A long stretch followed and I had no idea if I was still on the course. I had to ask a couple of volunteers and they seemed just as unsure as I was. This seemed odd to me, but I kept running. I wasn't sure how much farther I had to go but I rounded a turn that was marked again and I was jumped in a narrow gate by at least 3 zombies. I raced past the first two and the third one ran me into a fence. I ducked under his grabby arms and realized this was the finish line.
All the spectators were gathered here and realizing everyone was watching, I turned on all the speed I had left so I wouldn't look like I was about to pass out. Apparently I was the third runner to finish the race and the first one to finish "alive" with a flag left. Don't get excited, my time wasn't that great, I was just in the top of the first of 4 staggered starting groups.