Zombie Evasion

Don't let the undead get you down
  • Oct 05, 2015
  • 350 words
  • 2 minutes
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Remember those slow-moving, dim-witted zombies of yesteryear? Yes, they still exist, but a new millennium calls for new thinking. Meet the zombie for the postmodern era: nimble, fit and strategic. Adapt or die, as they say.

At the Zombie Evasion, held in Calgary and Edmonton on Saturday, Oct. 24, these new-style zombies hunger not so much for human flesh but after funds for worthy causes: It’s all for the good of humankind. The chip-timed 5-km trail run/walk fundraiser pits humans against zombies determined to keep them from reaching the finish line. Needless to say, to stay alive, the humans will have to pick up their game—and their feet.

When they register, racers are issued a “health” flag, a flag belt and a bib, but there’s also an opportunity to purchase three more flags through cash donations to local event charities or a food-bank donation at the race site. To evade the zombie apocalypse, participants — individuals or teams of two, three or four—have to hang on to their flag(s) till they cross the finish line. Waves of 250 runners leave at 30-minute intervals, but 50 zombies will soon enough be nipping at their heels … and their flags. Everyone should come prepared to navigate a range of uneven surfaces, from pavement and grass to dirt and gravel.

On the course itself, the zombies cleverly double-team us humans. Old-style zombies — dubbed “The Horde” — mill about but can also be obstructionist, borrowing the kettling technique used to contain protesters by the Toronto police at the 2010 G20 — while the new-fangled zombies — the chasers — actively pursue runners to capture their flags and scare the heck out of them. As always, teamwork pays off: Team members can hand off flags to an appointed team captain and work together as “meat shields” to protect him or her from the advancing undead.

Can live people work together more effectively than the undead? Finding out is all part of the fun. Happy Hallowe’en.

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