So you think you could survive a zombie apocalypse? Very few doomsday scenarios attract as many enthusiasts as the recent zombie phenomenon in popular culture. With Halloween just around the corner, we’ve found some unique zombie-themed events throughout the country. Whether you’re a walker, runner, or “infected,” these exciting events are designed to engage participants of all interest levels in fun, communal competitions.
RedRun2 in Virginia City, Nevada
One of the most innovative events to date is the RedRun2. This event pulls out all the stops by incorporating the country’s most haunted locations, historical western landscapes, and heavily-choreographed apocalyptic scenarios. If you’re looking for an experience of full immersion that parallels what a real-life zombie apocalypse might look like, this event is for you.
Hot and Dirty Zombie Apocalypse Mud Run
For those who prefer a bit more filth, a new adaptation of the zombie run is emerging. A few groups of enthusiasts have created zombie mud runs and obstacle courses that incorporate traditional 5k runs and outdoor events into a festive and seasonal celebration. Many of these events let you pick a side—either walking dead or bait—and some events even include professional makeup artists to help the undead come alive.
The spooky hills of Acton, California play host to one such event, offering both a 5k and 10k option, the Acton California Hot and Dirty Zombie Apocalypse Mud Run is set for October 18 and includes rolling hills, deep canyons, and at least 30 obstacles. The registration fee is currently $70 for early birds, $80 for day-of registrants. Escape may be a little too easy in the country, but successfully avoiding infection in a rural environment is good practice for that impending urban outbreak.
Headless Horseman Zombie Mud Run
If you prefer the cityscape, the Headless Horseman hosts a zombie mud run near the outskirts of New York City, and few things are more terrifying than facing an overwhelming attack by a whole city of the infected. Participants have the option of partaking in the event as a human ($81), a zombie ($41), or both ($81). Registration fees typically include a free t-shirt, free beer or soda, and bragging rights for survivors. Bring your kids along to participate in the “Junior Heat” so the whole family can fight the infection together.
The Walking Dead Escape in Miami, Florida
The Walking Dead Escape, scheduled for October 25 in Miami, Florida, is primed to be one of the most authentic zombie experiences this year. With a CEO like Robert Kirkman, the creator of the award-winning comic book series The Walking Dead, the Walking Dead Escape is sure to live up to the hype. As a human ($75), you’ll have access to cold beer and an after-party…if you survive. As a zombie ($95), you will receive a professional makeup session, Walker training, and access to the after-party. Walking Dead fans, see if you fare as well as Rick and the rest of The Walking Dead cast, or see what kind of havoc you can wreak as a Walker.
Zombie Run for Charity
Participants are obviously expected to enjoy themselves, but some organizations are taking these communal gatherings to the next level, and for a good cause. Susan Vacheresse and Ryan Ricci of Ottawa are hosting Ottawa’s first zombie run, and all proceeds and donations will go directly to Habitat for Humanity National Capital Region. Help a needy family find a home while you learn how to survive the impending apocalypse. Who needs money after the apocalypse, anyway?
Did Somebody Say Flash Mob?
What would a Halloween celebration be without a Michael Jackson flash mob? That is exactly why Thrill The World Los Angeles is coordinating a global “Thriller” flash mob for those who find zombie runs too challenging or authentic. Thrill Day Global will be on October 25 at 3 p.m., so there’s still plenty of time to beef up your dance moves. More information about this global event and a video to help you learn the “Thriller” dance can be found on the website.
Hunt the Undead with Special Ops: Infected
Every year, the theme park Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California has a Halloween event for 24 nights, which is known as Knott’s Scary Farm. In addition to the 11 mazes and over 1,000 interactive monsters, this year the park added Special Ops: Infected, which lets you find out firsthand how you would fare during a zombie apocalypse. You’re broken up into small groups, then paired with soldiers to trek through a military base overrun with zombies—and yes, you do get a gun. There are four different scenarios you can experience, but chances are you’ll make it out to the other side, bite-free.
Whether you choose to fight the zombie hoards or help spread the infection, the viral nature of the zombie phenomenon means there is no shortage of zombie-themed events. A list of zombie-themed mud runs and events can be found here, so take a moment to find a zombie apocalypse near you.
Survival of these events does not guarantee your survival in the event of an actual zombie apocalypse, but practice will surely improve your odds!
For more information about fall and Halloween events, check out:
- 15 Cities With Family-Friendly Halloween Activities
- The Best Places to See Fall Foliage Around the Country
- Where You Can Celebrate Oktoberfest This Year
- Celebrate Harvest Season With Fall Festivals
By Neil Thigpen for PeterGreenberg.com