This past weekend I participated in the Run For Your Lives 5k. Runners are chased by zombies through a 5k obstacle course. They are wearing flag football belts with three flags; if they lose all three flags by the end, they have been eaten. Obviously, I was a zombie. This is the first time a Run For Your Lives had been held in my city, so I registered to be a zombie in January. I think all the zombie spots were taken by February.
We were all given a professional zombie makeup job, and they had costumes there for us, but we were encouraged to think up our own as well. I thought it would be ironic to be a zombie Velma from Scooby Doo. (One of them was real!!) I purchased everything for my costume; while it would have been quite easy to sew, it was more likely than not that the costume would be destroyed, so it wasn’t worth the effort of making one. The hair I grew myself.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a photo in the prime of my zombification. I got pictures immediately after the makeup job. Before they sent us out into the course they stood us up against a wall, sprayed us with mud, then threw a couple handfuls of fake blood at us. I didn’t want to get gunk all over the camera. The official photos and the local news coverage aren’t up yet. (We scared the anchorwoman who was covering the event.)
I was at the second to last zombie area, so at least half the people running by were already dead. I did a lot more high-fiving than flag stealing. There’s being in character, and then there’s being a jerk. If somebody still had flags but was clearly exhausted and miserable, I’d leave ‘em alone. Same with people standing just outside of my area trying to catch their breath. There were a few stalwart souls who had hurt themselves along the way but trying to finish out the race; I gave them back a flag.
Sadly, there wasn’t nearly as much costuming going on as I’ve seen at other races in town that don’t even have a theme. My favorite by far was the group of guys who ran in suits and hats and carrying briefcases. (What made it so funny was that they kept up shouting lawyer catchphrases while they were running away.)
For once it was nice to be dressed as a character people readily recognize—I heard lots of spectators shouting “Go Velma!” Or runners: “Velma, nooo!” And my friend when I stole flags: “Your childhood has betrayed you!!”
I should have a photograph here of my T-shirt, medal, and flags. (We were told we could keep the flags, don’t worry.) But, uh, I still haven’t cleaned the mud off the flags. I still haven’t dumped my running shoes in a bucket of hot, soapy water, either. There wasn’t mud in my area, so I didn’t get nearly as dirty as I’d hoped.
Oh yeah—as if I really needed a good reason to dress up like a zombie, this benefited the Red Cross.