It’s dark, and a light breeze is whispering through the leaves overhead. The sun set moments ago, and through the dimming twilight the strength of your flashlight becomes wide, important, almost like a security blanket. You are running on soft feet, eyes scanning the trees and bushes on either side of you. A pal is on your heels, giggling with a sense of delight at the thrill, at the adrenal of running a gauntlet of flesh-eating zombies.
It’s not a horror movie but the first edition of the Zombie Dash 5K in Grand Rapids. The April 28th adventure race is already being billed as the most anticipated event on GRNow.com. There’s a tangible buzz about the Zombie Dash, with roughly 400 runners expected to take the start at dusk.
It’s a dash, it’s a race, it’s a blast: that’s the true format of the Dash. In the style of adventure racing, Race Director Mark VanTongeren says this event is a great way for friends to get out, have fun, and enjoy the thrill of survival. While adventure races have exploded in the past few years, the Zombie Dash 5K puts an extra emphasis on fun, pitting not only great athletes on the trails but also those looking to evade ‘zombies,’ dressed in rags and made-up to look like the real thing.
Robinette’s Apple Hause and Winery makes for the perfect, scenic setting. Its trails are first-class, and the trees lining the pathways offer ideal hiding places for the lurking Undead. Zombies can take part for free, with the only obligations being committed effort to looking like a rotting corpse and trying to catch the fleeing survivors. Runners will need some source of light for the race, to better spot the zombies and to locate two to three safe houses located around the course for supplies.
This is a great event for the fleet-footed and fun-seeking, though it is recommended that survivors be over the age of 12, and those under 18 are instructed to stay well-defended by an adult. The race will start around 8:30pm, just as the darkness gathers, and will be followed by awards, refreshments and a raffle starting at 10pm. The cost is $28 to run, and comes with a hip t-shirt. Zombies with some sense of style can sign up for $12, but all of the Undead can try to snack on runners for free.
For those sure of their speed, the event will be professionally timed. For the competitive runners, this might just turn out to be an excellent way to set a new personal record. You always run faster with someone chasing you, especially if they are rather intent on eating you. Registration is up and filling quickly, so get your legs and nerves ready for the most-fun 5K in Grand Rapids!