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November 8, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
Picture this. It’s a brisk November dawn. A few early risers are taking a quiet walk through Stephens Lake Park. Making their final turn up the trail, they notice a person with bloody face paint sprint across their field of vision. And then another, and another, and then — a zombie?
A concept gone national, the Zombie Rampage 5K is finally infecting Columbia as a fundraiser for the MU Rowing Club on Nov. 10. Participants can run as either a human or a zombie. Those who sign up as humans get a head start. The goal for humans is to finish before being passed, or “infected,” by the zombies. The zombies’ goal is to catch up with the human runners. The more humans a zombie passes, the more people infected.
Humans aren’t completely vulnerable, however. Zombies run with two flags attached to their bodies, and once both are detached, the zombie is powerless and can no longer infect others.
The fastest human and the fastest zombie will win the race for each category, respectively. Bystanders at Stephens Lake Park might be a bit confused to see zombified runners chasing each other at 7 a.m., but that’s part of the fun of this 5K.
This race isn’t just for adults. Race director Tarah Benner says a diverse group of racers has already began to show interest. “I expected it to be a lot of college kids, but I have been really surprised by the number of parents calling to see if their kids can run it,” she says. Children older than 10 can run with a parent, and children 12 and older are able to race on their own.
A more grown up version of the childhood game “tag,” just with more bloody faces, this 5K caters to those who might prefer an alternative workout in which they can have fun, be scary and burn some calories all in one race.
Don’t toss out your Halloween zombie getup just yet; you’ll want to throw it on again for this fun run.