Wednesday, September 05, 2012


The Zombies Will Eat YOUR Brains!

On Saturday, September 1, Sarah and her friends traveled to Pittsburgh to participate in the Run For Your Life race.  I can not explain this race.  Sarah tried to explain it to me, but I ended up asking "WHY?"  Let me lift an article from the Pittsburgh newspaper that may help us.

By Maria Sciullo / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 

 Only runners with guts need apply.

It was probably only a matter of time before Pittsburgh landed a "zombie run," in a series of free-for-all obstacle races started a year ago by two Maryland men with a penchant for running amid the mud and the muck.

After all, we already have an annual Downtown "Zombie Walk."

"My good friend, Ryan Hogan -- we grew up together -- said, 'Do you want to throw together a small mud run?' " said Derrick Smith, managing member of an organization that created the "Run for Your Lives" series.

It's also rather a video-game experience in that each runner begins with small flags attached to the waist. In order to "live" -- and qualify for prizes after the race -- he or she must finish with at least one flag or bonus health token found along the course.

That's where the zombies come in. Instead of brains, they want your flags.

There are 12 events this year, including Sept. 1 at the Switchback Raceway in Butler. Entrants are challenged to complete a circuitous, roughly 5,000-meter course that incorporates natural obstacles such as hillsides and gullies.

There are various paths to the finish line, and they might be dotted with roadblocks such as a rope swing over a big pool of fake blood.

Indeed, there will be blood.

"The blood pit just started as a simple pool runners had to climb into. It's red, it looks like blood," Mr. Smith said, noting that obstacles might vary from city to city.

"Sometimes at different events, we have people sliding into a big pool of red, but now it's [often] climbing over monkey bars and trying not to fall in. Plus, we try to sneak in some other things."

"Mud runs" are gaining in popularity in the U.S., where athletes might start a 5K course by jumping into a pond and slogging their way through other messy challenges. They compete in timed "waves," similar to those used in triathlons.

Zombie runs add the element of a game of "capture the flag," only with many zombies of all sizes and speeds. They are not allowed to wrangle with the runners -- or vice versa -- other than attempting to remove a flag.
"We try to put a zombie twist on everything we do," Mr. Smith said.

In this case, entrants will be pursued by enthusiastic hordes of zombies that are assigned specific characteristics. Some run, some shamble, some crawl.

Only "chaser" zombies are permitted to run down prey. Others must try to surprise or freak out runners, like anglerfish in scary makeup.

The crew from Bridgeport included Krista and Zack Arnold, Mike and Natalie Mason, Darcy Thompson, and, of course, Sarah.

 The girls had their team's Zombie shirts ready to go.

 They even had messages for the zombies on the back of the shirts.

The zombies were ready to go!!


 The race was off with zombies hungry for fresh brains (flags)!

I find this photo of the conclusion of the race most interesting! Notice the facial mud on the females. Mike and Zack must have kept their faces above mud level.  Darcy, first on left, was the only team member, that kept a flag throughout the race.  Darcy is a certified trainer and Crossfit competitor and instructor.


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