Have you heard of Run for Your Lives? It’s a 5k obstacle mud run where zombies run after you, trying to infect you with their zombie virus. My sister Tracy (a zombie freak), told me about it awhile ago, and what do you know, they just happened to be coming to Denver during her visit. I’m pretty sure she planned her trip around it. Still, it sounded like fun, so Chris, Tracy and I all signed up for it.
It was held at the Thunder Valley Motorcross Park, which wasn’t the greatest venue in the world (nothing pretty, no trees, and HOLY HELL, some steep ass hills!) Our wave was set to run at 11:00. We met our friends Kevin and Kelly who were running too (Kelly claimed to be (ahem) sick that day, so she wasn’t running. I think she’s ground zero for the zombie virus.) We had decided the night before to stick together as a team, rather than every man for himself. Kevin decided to join us.
I kind of had an idea of what we were in for, from looking at pictures on their Facebook page. I was a little disappointed with the venue, but it’s all in fun, so we decided to just enjoy it. Our wave started off pretty typically for a 5k, for about 10 seconds, then we were confronted with our first obstacle: a series of walls, which proved to be no problem for us mere mortals.
Then, suddenly, we are going straight uphill, UNDER barbed wire. At first, I was powering through like a bad ass, but then the steepness and altitude just hits you. I live in Colorado and I was gasping for breath. Tracy is from sea level and she’s just about keeled over! We had to go through a series of these steep hills before we finally reached our first mob of zombies. We all made it through the first horde without losing any health (in the form of flags hanging from our belts), but Tracy was really struggling and considered giving up. We told her to keep moving (there were zombies after us, after all!) and she could decide at the next flat spot.
Well, guess what happened at the next flat spot? A guy is having a heart attack. No, really. We get to the top of the hill where people are screaming for a medic and a guy is passed out on the ground having CPR performed on him. They performed CPR for FOUR minutes and finally got a pulse. It took forever for the medics to get up this hill, so thank god this man decided to collapse right in front of some very-qualified-in-saving-lives people! It was really scary and sobering. If Tracy had decided to stop racing at this point, I would have gladly joined her. But she decided to stick it out at least to be able to go down the giant slide. But, as we are standing there in this huge mob of people waiting to go down the slide, they make the announcement that there will be no slide for us, we need to walk around. Apparently, someone broke their ankle on the slide because there wasn’t enough water in the mud pit at the bottom. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but we walked around the slide and everyone jumped into the mud pit at the bottom.
After that fiasco, the course actually wasn’t too bad. There were lots of hills (some that were nearly impossible to climb without help), and lots of zombies, but we figured out that waiting until we had a huge mob of runners with us upped our chances of making it through the zombies without getting our flags taken. We encountered more mud pits, obstacles to climb over, under and through and of course, more and more zombies.
At some point, Tracy and Chris had all their flags taken, so they were officially infected with the zombie virus, but since they hadn’t transformed yet, they helped Kevin and I (we each had one flag left) through the zombie masses by acting as decoys. So nobel!! I will say that some of the zombies just let us walk by and only pretended to take our flags. I had one zombie actually whisper to me “Don’t worry, I won’t take your flag.” Pretty nice zombies, for giving us a chance to save ourselves. The zombies at the end were not so life-loving. That were AFTER US!
Unfortunately, by the last obstacle, Kevin and I lost our last flags, so we were all officially DEAD. The course officials announced that we had one more obstacle, which was a large wooden ladder that led to a slide into yet another mud pit, but they failed to mention the electrified fence we had to crawl under to get to the finish line! Luckily, my husband watches Band of Brothers every time it’s on TV, so I was an expert army crawler. Tracy got a little shock from it though! We all did the zombie shuffle into the DEAD line and accepted our medals.
I have to say this is the most physically demanding run I’ve ever done. (Although calling it a “run” isn’t really correct. If anyone was actually able to do any running during this course (except from the zombies, of course) then I didn’t see it!) All of us were completely drained and extremely sore the next day. It was really fun, but I don’t know if I’ll be in a big hurry to do another obstacle course again. Chris got a big kick out of it, and is ready to run another one! The Denver Post did a story about this race, which you can read HERE.