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This past Saturday (10/20) this writer, along with actresses Natalie Victoria (DeadHeads) and Carlee Baker (The Woman)’ made the drive from Hollywood to Temecula, CA, to participate in Run For Your Lives, a zombie-infested 5K obstacle course race and lived to tell about it.
Read on for photos and more!
A national phenomenon, this past weekend’s Run For Your Lives event was set up at Vail Lake, Temecula, and in addition to the well-organized race, it included live bands, food and alchohol vendors and a Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines booth (the film streets tomorrow, 10/23, on DVD and Blu-ray via Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment), where filmmaker Declan O’Brien spent some time signing materials after completing his heat (no lie, I had to talk him into the former, and as it turned out, he was happy I did).
So how does Run For Your Lives work? It’s pretty straightforward. After checking in, runners are issued a belt with three flags. Their goal? Don’t let the zombies take their flags. And with that, waves of runners began the five-kilometer race in the rugged hills above Lake Vail. During our heat (running with me, in addition to the previously mentioned Victoria and O’Brien, were Wrong Turn 4 actors Tenika Davis and Dean Armstrong, Bill Millsap (Tom Holland’s “Twisted Tales”) and Matt Mercer (Madison County), we encounted not only herds of zombies hell-bent on stripping away those very same flags (both fast movers and the old school, Romero shamblers), but also plenty of shoe-sucking mud-pits, slides, barbed-wire and electrified fences, among other things.
Heavily attended and well-executed, Run For Your Lives could be considered a ‘fun race,’ in that unlike similar competitions (Tough Mudder or the Spartan Race, for example), a high level of athleticism isn’t required. Yes, it can be challenging (there’s an awful lot of sprinting involved once the undead appear, and participants should brush up on their ‘commado crawl’), but it favors entertainment over the grueling aspects of more challenging obstacle events, and runners can set their own pace, if ‘time’ isn’t their concern. The nature of the race also favors teamwork. Without it, you’re zombie food. There’s simply no way around that.
Having survived the race and received our medals (the majority of our team still retained a flag or two upon reaching the finishing line), we plunged into Vail Lake to remove most of the mud from our persons, before changing into a clean set of clothes and grabbing a glass of wine. There were smiles all around. Who knew a zombie apocalypse could be so much fun?
Upcoming race locations include Baltimore, Maryland (10/27 and 10/28), Orlando, Florida (11/17) and Austin, Texas (12/15). Check out the Run for Your Lives website for more.
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