By Scott Prater
Participants in December’s Warfit Run can expect to see a new twist on the traditional event — zombies.
Based on a suggestion from Amanda Lukavich, 50th Force Support Squadron, Schriever Sports and Fitness Manager Seth Cannello had planned to introduce the zombie run as a new 50 FSS event Dec. 21.
“That’s the day the world is supposed to end, according to the Mayan calendar, so we decided to go along with that theme,” he said. “Upon further thought, however, we figured a Dec. 21 event might not be well attended because of the pending holiday and expected colder temperatures.”
Instead, Cannello introduced the idea during discussions with the 22nd Space Operations Squadron, the December Warfit Run organizer. Capt. Irakli Matchavariani, event coordinator, and Lt. Col. Scott Angerman, 22 SOPS commander, liked the idea of changing things up, so all agreed to host the 2012 “End of the World” Zombie Classic today.
What is a zombie run? It’s similar to the mud races or military-obstacle style events that have become popular of late. Mix in some actors dressed in zombie costumes and makeup, bent on infecting as many runners as possible, and you have a zombie run.
Cannello envisions hosting a full-blown version of the zombie event in the future, which could include a mud pit, a balance beam and several other obstacles. Today’s zombie race will serve as a trial run for the future version, on a scaled back basis.
Participants will meet for calisthenics at the upper parking lot of the fitness center and then take off on either a 2.5- or 3.5-mile run. That’s where the wing run familiarity ends.
Fitness center staff will distribute flags among three groups of participants. These flags represent life.
Following a pre-determined head start for runners, zombies will be released from the starting line. More zombies, made up of 22 SOPS and 50th Network Operations Group members, will be stationed along the course at certain segments. These zombies will attempt to snatch the flag off runners as they run by.
A flag bearer, or human, who loses his or her flag to a zombie is then infected with the zombie virus, but won’t turn zombie until after they pass the finish line. Run organizers will also place additional flags, or medical kits, somewhere along the course for runners to regain their life, should they lose their flag.
“This provides some incentive for faster runners,” Cannello said. “Those who get to them first get their life back.”
The following rules of engagement will apply:
All runners must stay on the designated running trail.
Runners are not allowed to go backward on the course.
Runners are not allowed to steal other runners’ flags.
Runners are only allowed to pick up medical kits if they have already lost their flag.
Runners must turn in their flag at the end of the course to their proper group’s collection point in order to get credit for completing the race uninfected.
Each runner gets one flag that is to be located on the right side of the body, tucked into the edge of their physical training shorts/pants, with enough flag hanging out for a zombie to easily grab.
There is no physical contact allowed between the zombies and runners or other runners, outside of normal requirements for zombies to take flags.
Zombies must stick to their pre-assigned positions (stationary or as chasers) on the course; chaser zombies will be released after appropriate human head start.
Zombies can only steal flags while going in the same direction as the runners on the course.
“The Zombie Classic will be a great way to work off any residual post-inspection stress prior to the long weekend,” Angerman said. “You don’t have to be fast; you just have to be faster than the guy behind you. The group with the most survivors wins.”