Champaign Park District organizes “Zombie Run”
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 17:10
It’s the end of the world. A virus has infected millions of people across the world, turning them into zombies, and you are one of the 104 survivors.
In order for you to escape the zombie apocalypse, you’re going to have to run for your life.
This is what the creative geniuses at Champaign Park District came up with - a two mile race that involves runners going through a zombie filled course.
For haunted house fans and marathon lovers, this is the perfect combination.
The Zombie Run will take place Saturday, Oct. 20 at Dodds Park at 4 p.m. and it’s already looking like it will be a huge success.
This race will be limited to 104 runners which will be broken up into 13 waves and will draw on the assistance of 70 volunteers. Registration was set to close on October 17 but due to the fact that it rapidly became such a popular event, registration closed early.
There is a waiting list and runners can sign up online or in person at the Leonhard Recreation Center located on 2212 W. Sangamon Drive in Champaign. Runners must be 16 years old or older.
The Zombie Run is in partnership with Parkland College, the course is half on the Dodds Park Sports Complex and half on Parkland campus.
88.7 WPCD FM will be doing a special news broadcasts on the event.
Megan Kuhlenschmidt, Sports and Aquatics Manager for Champaign Park District, is thrilled to be a part of this event.
“During the offseason, we were sitting around brainstorming and we wanted to do a Halloween themed event,” Kuhlenschmidt said. “We found the Zombie Run online and we knew that we could do that, we could do that even better.”
“The race course is top secret. It’s part haunted house, it’s part apocalypse survival and you will have a guide,” Kuhlenschmidt remarked.
“It’s not a flat out run, you’re not just seeing how fast you can run two miles, we really want people to have fun with it,” she said.
People can dress up in anything except zombie costumes to avoid confusion with the zombies on the course.
The organizers of the event expressed that they would like to see people dressed in clothes that they would find themselves in if a real zombie apocalypse hit today.
In other words, they don’t want everyone to dress as the typical marathon runner, they want them to have fun with it and be creative.
This will likely evolve into an annual event. Many places around town have already shown interest in hosting the Zombie Run and it’s going to be a traveling race. The locations and the story lines will change every year.
Parkland College President Thomas Ramage will be on the course that day, but his role during the event is being kept a secret.
Hsiung Marler, Sports Program Coordinator for Champaign Park District, showed a lot of enthusiasm while talking about this event.
“Our biggest problem is that we are going to have to tell people no because we won’t have room for them,” Marler remarked.
“The course is story driven and has a plot,” he said. “Runners will have flag football flags and in certain locations there will be zombies and as they run if the zombies grab their flags at the end of the race you are finishing ‘infected.’”
“You have to pay attention to detail, you have to be aware of your surroundings,” Marler said. “We are already thinking about next year.”
After the race finishes, there will be a small party at the end. A movie will be shown and there will be food to purchase, organizers or the event will sell leftover zombie shirts, and there will be zombie games.
Champaign Park District has organized many great and fun races through the years, and Zombie Run is promising to be one of the most successful.
Stephanie Rice, accounting major, is participating in the Zombie Run. She has participated in many fitness races that Champaign Park District has organized.
“I have participated in many of their events and I have had a blast in all of them,” Rice said. “I love story-driven courses and this one has potential to be the best one yet.”
“I enjoy thrills and I enjoy the adrenaline that comes with haunted houses so I’m really excited,” she said. “I’m looking forward to participating in it every year; these are the types of races people enjoy.”
For more information on this and many other fun races that Park District organizes throughout the year, people can log on to champaignparkdistrict.com or people can visit their Facebook page.
If you are unable to participate in this year’s race, just remember to register early next year because the Zombie Run is promising to become a very popular event.
This will essentially be great practice, so when the real zombie apocalypse hits, you will know exactly what to do.