It was May 11, 2013. The smell of mud hung in the cool air. I looked down at my white overalls and brushed a piece of dirt off the biohazard logo. My friends shifted from side to side, adjusting their face masks and goggles.
Beside us, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles discussed tactics, a group of robots jostled to the front of the group, and the Speedo Cops limbered up. Some things you just can’t unsee.
A screech pierced the air. All heads turned. The zombies were coming. Soaked in blood with flesh hanging from its face, it lumbered towards us. A second zombie, clutching a megaphone, approached. It gurgled and crackled. Then the sound became clear.
Five. Four. Three. Two. One. A shrill sound erupted and we were off. The bloody zombie snarled and snapped as it charged towards us. I skipped around its lunge and launched myself across the muddy trench. Scrambling up the other side, I glanced back as it turned its attention to the other runners.
The next five kilometres continued in the same manner. Trenches and streams cut through the course. Piles of hay bales and tires littered the ground. Zombies hid behind every corner waiting to pounce. Electrified webbing and cargo nets hindered our progress, but we made to the finish line.
I am of course referring to the five-kilometre zombie obstacle course run by Spookers of Auckland, New Zealand. Their zombies are numerous and lifelike. The course is slick and tricky. It’s also bloody good fun.
It’s no secret that I love zombies. Don’t know why. I always have. I love to write about them, read about them, and watch films about them. They’re just amazing. Not long after landing in New Zealand I learnt about the race at Spookers and knew that I had to do it. It was so much fun, I did it the next year too, dressed as Thor.
If you ever find yourself in Auckland in May, I would highly recommend that you give it a go. It was so much fun that I would do it every weekend if I could. Going for a run has now become completely boring without the threat of zombies.
In the event of a zombie outbreak, there are a few things you should know. This is based on my first-hand research, so ignore at your peril.
- A pair of shoes with good grip is essential. How stupid will you feel if you survive the initial outbreak only to slip on some mud and get eaten?
- Stay in a group. If it’s only you the zombie only has one target, whereas with a group they can become indecisive.
- Wait until the zombie attacks someone else before trying to run past them. Better them than you.
- Don’t speak to the zombies. If it can understand what you’re saying, you are only going to antagonise it. Better to keep quiet.
- I know they covered it in Zombieland, but cardio, cardio, cardio!