UPDATE 4/8/13: A DP videographer was on scene to capture the run.
Thousands of people will be running for their lives, trying to escape the imminent zombie apocalypse tomorrow.
This Saturday the first installment of the Philadelphia Zombie Run, a nationwide “zombie infestation,” will take place at Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park at 1500 Pattison Ave. in South Philadelphia. The race will also be held throughout the spring and fall in 16 other cities across the country, ranging from San Diego to New Orleans.
Organized by Wharton sophomore Andrew Hudis and David Feinman, a childhood friend who currently attends Bucks County Community College, this unorthodox 5K race will test the runners’ abilities to survive a zombie apocalypse.
Each runner will receive a flag football belt with a balloon attached to the back and attempt to finish while hordes of runners dressed as zombies pursue them to pop the balloon. The main objective of the race — which will loop around FDR Park — -is to reach the finish line without having your balloon “attacked” by a zombie.
“We have a lot of thematic elements like a helicopter, flipped cars, fog machines … it’s a three-mile-long haunted house,” Hudis said. “The course is going to be a high quality production and even if you can’t cross the finish line alive, it should be a fun experience either way.”
This is the first zombie run in Philadelphia that will be set in a movie-like setting.
At the end of the race, there will be a celebration for the runners, with the opportunity to get professional zombie makeup and a variety of other giveaways.
“We just wanted to make South Philly look like it’s been a victim of this horrible zombie apocalypse and give Philly running fans a chance to see how they would do if an actual apocalypse happened,” Hudis said.
Hudis has developed his hobby for running starting in middle school and has organized other races in the past, such as the Bucks County Half Marathon and a trick-or-treat-themed race directed towards children.
“I always loved the idea of running a far distance. I was that kid who wanted their driver’s license at 5 years old,” Hudis said. “I ran in so many races I thought I could probably put my own race on.”
The event will benefit Active Heroes, a charity that helps veterans, active duty military members and military families. A portion of the proceeds from Zombie Runs in other cities will also be given to local charities.
Sam Williford, a second-year student at the Penn’s Fels Institute of Government, is excited about the unique race.
“Going on a run can seem incredibly boring, so having a zombie chase you is a bit more motivation to go out and get to it … it’s something different,” he said. “Even if you’re not the fastest runner you can potentially brag about making to the end.”
Ashley Klein, a first year student at Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine, believes the beginning and end of the race will be the best parts.
“The beginning will be the most intense and exciting because I’m not entirely sure what to expect, and what level of running and screaming I’m going to do,” she said. “The end will be really exciting because I will have finished my first 5K and the whole party gathering at the end should be cool.”
For Hudis, the Zombie Run is just the beginning.
“By next year our plan is to double the number of races to 36 to 50 for the calendar year of 2014,” he said.Comments powered by Disqus
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