By Brian Hagberg
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
(Editor’s note: The following is a recounting of the Oct. 30 Zombie Run as though actual zombies appeared and is for entertainment purposes only. It is not meant as a factual retelling of the event.)
What was supposed to be a “fun run” for 62 members of Schriever Air Force Base, was anything but as the fitness center event took a deadly turn here Oct. 30.
“The morning began just as any other morning before a Fitness Center event- with bad weather,” said Mark Schuette, fitness center recreation assistant. “And as usual, we still had a very impressive turnout of participants for the fun run. Fun. Right. This run was anything but.”
Shortly after the run began, participants approached a group of youth from the Schriever School Age Program. The runners assumed the kids were there to cheer them on. Only after the kids began taking “bites” (removing one of the participant’s flags) out of the runners did event organizers realize something was wrong.
“As [the runners] headed west on the course, we saw some ankle biters from the [SAP] running out to cheer them on, and then the ankle biters started to actually bite some ankles,” Schuette said. “Then some adults emerged from the bushes and started to bite runners too.”
Chris Babcock was the first survivor to emerge from the chaos, having no choice but to follow the course to completion in order to find safety.
“It was horrifying, terrifying. [There are] no real words to describe the fear that I had for my own life,” Babcock said.
Schuette said staff quickly scrambled to set up safe zones for the runners along the course and both the 50th Security Forces Squadron and a local Zombie Outbreak Response Team were called in to quell the outbreak.
“Unfortunately, we’re not really prepared for the undead,” Schuette said. “It wasn’t too long before 50 SFS was able to respond and started taking down the zombies.”
Babcock said there were points when he didn’t think he would make it to the finish line.
“Some of those zombies, they’re dead, they’re the walking dead, but they sure are fast,” Babcock said. “That thirst for blood…it drove them straight toward me. With a little cunning I was able to get around them.”
Thankfully, the 21st Medical Squadron was able to quickly provide a cure to those who were recently bitten.
“The participants had to run off the beaten path to the safe zone to receive the cure,” Schuette said. “We couldn’t risk the care providers being turned as well.”
By the time the last of the survivors crossed the finish line, the outbreak appeared to have been quelled.
“We received reports that the outbreak has been contained and the zombies have been dealt with,” Schuette said. “The Schriever community has been rocked by this disturbing turn of events, but this community is nothing if not resilient and we will work together to get through this difficult time.”