Words: Carol Willis ǀ Photographer: pixbysuzi
Why is everyone so freaking obsessed with zombies these days?
As a zombie fan, it’s quite hard to explain that I’ve always been fascinated with the concept of the dead rising and taking over the world. But as
zombies gain popularity beyond the original underground cult following, I think to myself, “What took all of you so long?”
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zombie games For me, the idea of getting dressed up in suitably gory attire to chase runners around a 5 km is course is just the bee's knees. But as a zombie,
I actually don’t have to run much. I only need to find a good ambush spot, maybe team up with some other zombies and lie in wait for my prey, - the innocent runners. The sum
total of my running is over in just a few metres, while my targets frantically pump their arms and try to sidestep me. Should I decide to give chase, as some of my zombie horde is known to do over a fair distance in their quest to catch their prey, I can always sit back and catch my breath again before preparing to lurch at another victim. And if I’m fast and my timing is good, I can grab that little red flag they carry, which is protectively tucked into their waistbands, before they have a chance to react. But there is more to this game for the average zombie fan. There is the make-up, and the wow factor of gushing over other creatives and their interpretation of the undead. Have you ever seen a clown zombie, or a zombie on a unicycle? Yeah, neither have I, but out on the course, the zombie phenomenon is wide open to interpretation.
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Added to the make-up is the huge amount of fun to be had whilst out on the course. From runners’ surprised shouts of, “Dude, you just grabbed my crotch!” to spontaneous screaming in genuine fright as they sprint past you at break neck speed and into a bush because they were looking over their shoulder. Nothing makes a zombie laugh harder than an embarrassed runner doing battle with a largely harmless shrub. Lastly, as a survivalist, I find the Zombie Run concept a fascinating study into human behaviour. Very quickly, the human runners make friends and create teams to help them survive the course. Faster runners, with all three flags intact, run in front of the slower runners to try and cause a distraction amongst the zombies. Alternatively, you will find those runners that have already lost their lives (all three red flags) forming a human shield around others that still have lives intact. It doesn't take long for the runners to realise that there is no chance of making it to the finish line alone, and so friendships are struck up and strategic game plans are quickly put into action. The zombies aren’t immune from this either, as their previously functioning brain fights for latent memories and they too form bonds and teams. Squeals of, “OMG, I just love the zombie nurse outfit, let’s give them a heart attack together!” and grunts of, “You ambush from behind that tree and I’ll stand dead centre and scare them towards you," can be heard all along the course as the zombies join forces. As runners and zombies alike start to form groups, it becomes clear that the concept of safety in numbers actually works both ways. It’s a double-edged sword so to speak.
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Either way, runner or zombie, the environmental charity support element in every event gives participants an opportunity to contribute towards a worthy cause. Projects supported so far include the Wild Dog Project with the Endangered Wildlife Trust, the rehabilitation efforts of Freeme Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, and the Important Bird Areas programme with Birdlife SA. In total, nearly R45,000 - and counting - has been donated to these causes. So, if you are game enough to take part in a Zombie Run, the next event is taking place on 30 November 2013, at the Green Hub in Durban. This will be followed by a chillingly exciting event in Gauteng, in February 2014. Whichever event you take part in, be prepared to have a frightfully good time. â€˘ For more details on the Zombie Run, or to enter the www.roag.co.za, visit www.zombierunsa.com
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s e m a g e n d o n e a m o s n l u i t f n l u l a s â€™ it gets BITTEN
30 NOVEMBER 2013
Time: Venue: Registrations: More Info: Facebook: Twitter:
08:00 Green Hub, Durban www.roag.co.za www.zombierunsa.com www.facebook.com/ZombieRunSouthAfrica @zombierunsa
DO IT NOW Magazine, Running. Why is everyone so freaking obsessed with zombies these days? As a zombie fan, it’s quite hard to explain that...