Health

Zombie running

Like running? Think there’s nothing new out there, nothing more challenging that the odd 5k or 10k? Think again!

Anyone can run. But everything changes when you’re running for your life. Test your speed, strength and endurance through miles of man-made and natural obstacles—all while being chased by hungry, merciless zombies

This obstacle course race is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. And hopefully, it won’t be your last. Unless, that is you’re now a zombie! NMTBP finds out more

What can I expect?

Sunday morning is traditionally a time of rest. You may choose to have a well deserved lie-in. Or you may potter off to get the weekend paper, where you’ll sit in peace, a cup of coffee in your hand as you catch up on what’s happening in the world.

Or you could be standing alongside several thousand people in a wet and muddy field somewhere in the countryside, being told that, as of earlier that morning, the UK mainland is now in a state of lockdown due to a zombie epidemic. Sounds much more exciting, doesn’t it?

It will be explained to you that all of you will be escorted by members of her Majesty’s RAZORs (that’s short for “Royal Armoured Zombie Outbreak Response unit” - in case you weren’t aware) across 5km of extremely hazardous terrain in order to reach the evacuation zone. There are several rules you must all remember

Rule number one. If you’re to encounter any zombies en route to the evacuation zone, you’re NOT to engage with them. They are considered to be highly infectious and if you’re seen to be “willfuly engaging with a zombie” it will be assumed that you’re “infected” and you’ll be shot on sight. Roger out!

Rule number two. You’ll have been issued with “GPS tracking devices” on your belt (a clip-on belt with three green fluorescent tags Velcroed on to it, representing your lifelines). These must be visible at all times. If they’re not, the RAZORs will once again assume you’ve been “infected” and shoot you on sight

Rule number three. Make sure the GPS devices are securely attached. If you lose them (or more likely, they’re stolen by zombies), then we will be assumed to be “infected”, and guess what? Yes, those trigger-happy RAZORs will take decisive action

And off you go! All you need to do is sprint off like Usain Bolt, bound through minefields, crawl under barbed wire and jumping ditches, all while performing Matrix-like manoeuvres, body-swerving past the clutches of the undead who looked like extras from a George A Romero film

No, that’s what rookies do! Better to set off at a much gentler pace, tactically keeping several people in front of you as zombie bait. You’ll be much more likely to finish and earn the title ‘survivor’

Now, you may be thinking, “This sounds like a ridiculous way to spend a Sunday morning.” Which of course it is. But zombie outbreaks appear to be on the increase. Not real ones, of course, but obstacle races such as these, which are popping up all over the world, offering you the chance to be chased by members of the living dead - who might be a member of your family, mates from work or simply random people with a penchant for horror make-up.

Where can I find the zombies?

In the UK try zombierunuk.com

In the USA head to runforyourlives.com

I’m too wimpy!

Never fear, technology to the rescue. There’s now, naturally, an app for that!

While walking, jogging or running with your smartphone, you’ll hear a terrifying tale in your headphones about a zombie-infested future. You play as a “runner” in this story by keeping away from the flesh-eating undead and collecting ammo, medicine, batteries and other items for human survivors. After you’ve amassed valuable items throughout your narrated exercise, you can choose what to do with your items, where to go in this fictional city and you unravel a mystery about where the zombies came from and why

Zombies, Run! was written by UK-based Naomi Alderman, a novelist whose debut book Disobedience won the Orange Prize, which celebrates women’s writing, in 2006. Her second novel, The Lessons, was published in 2010. Both have been transcribed into radio plays for BBC Radio. It takes all sorts!

You might think running to non-stop helicopter drones and zombie growls would get old after a while. Fortunately, Zombies, Run! thought of that, and the app patches in music from your smartphone’s music library if you like, and the zombie story will take place in between your songs via a series of radio messages and dramatic voice recordings

The app costs £2.49 in iTunes. The app is also available on Android

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