City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Here’s your chance to be chased by zombies!

Runners from last fall's first 'Run For Your Lives" race in Maryland. CREDIT: Reed Street Productions

Runners from last fall's first 'Run For Your Lives" race in Maryland. CREDIT: Reed Street Productions

In reality, being chased by a ravenous zombie would be an activity best avoided. But thousands of people are ready to “run for their lives” for fun March 3 in Union Point.

And they’re willing to shell out $87 for the privilege.

Inspired by the Atlanta-based AMC TV drama “The Walking Dead,” which returns Feb. 12, run organizers have created a five-kilometer obstacle race featuring hundreds of make-believe zombies chasing as many as 10,000 humans.

The first race this year will be held at Durhamtown Plantation Sports Complex in Union Point, about halfway between Atlanta and Augusta.

“We wanted a nice, isolated place in the middle of nowhere,” said Derrick Smith, one of the organizers.

Spots to volunteer to be a zombie have long been filled, Smith said. Registration to run closes Friday Feb. 10.  As of Monday, about 80 percent of those 10,000 slots were gone. Spectators can show up for $32 apiece, with tickets available through March 2.

Runners, who must be at least 14, will have to overcome 12 obstacles, including an incline wall, mud galore and possibly a “blood” pit. Zombies won’t actually tackle the runners and try to gnaw their necks — that would cause some liability issues, Smith said.

Instead, organizers set up a warped twist on flag football. Runners will have “health” flags on their belts. If zombies grab them all, runners also become zombies.

The fastest runners finishing the race with at least one flag intact will win prizes such as survival gear. Runners will be placed into four age groups, divided by gender,  There will also be a separate category for military personnel.

Some zombies, Smith said, will be stumblers like those seen in “The Walking Dead.” Others will be able to run full blast, as they do in the 2009 film “Zombieland,”  shot throughout metro Atlanta and Georgia.

Mauro Reyes, a 42-year-old Atlanta graphics specialist, is one of the 8,000 people so far who have signed on to run – even though he’s never run a 5K before. “I joke that the only times I’d ever run is if something bigger is chasing me and I’m out of ammo,” he said.

He saw the info on Twitter and is a fan of “The Walking Dead.” “I just think it’s going to be fun,” he said. “I’m by no means fast but I’ll be prepared. My hope is to be in a group surrounded by slower people and let them go down first.” (He learned that mentality, he said, from “Zombieland.”)

Jennifer Yarber, a local communications specialist, is a runner and is having second thoughts about how much she and her husband spent. He volunteered to be a zombie and paid $25 to do so, she wrote in an email. But she figures, what the hell: “Even though I paid a ridiculous amount, I’m going to have a good time.”

Smith and his childhood friend Ryan Hogan, both Maryland residents, decided to host a zombie race there for fun last October to help promote Hogan’s apparel company. They hoped for 1,000 local runners. “But as we developed the website [] and got on Facebook, it became a much larger event,” Smith said.

In the end, 10,000 people from 26 states and several foreign countries showed up to be chased by 400 zombies.  “It went viral,” he said.

Runners are encouraged to wear costumes. “There was a Burger King, a Ronald McDonald. And a lot of folks came in suits with briefcases,” Smith said. The average finish time for the Maryland race was about 45 minutes.

Though this is a for-profit operation, an unspecified portion of the proceeds will go to the American Red Cross, Smith said. Representatives from the Atlanta-based federal Centers for Disease Control will also be there, distributing information on disaster preparedness.

He said Run For Your Lives will be an all-day affair, including a pig roast, a Nerf-gun shooting range, a dozen bands and a cash bar. Water will be free. People will be able to camp overnight.

Atlanta is the first of 11 metro areas that are going to be infested with zombie-themed races this year. Others include Indianapolis, St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Austin.

And though the race organizers don’t ‘t have direct cooperation from the producers of “The Walking Dead,” Smith said some of the zombies in the race have showed up on the drama.

Race preview

“Run for Your Lives”

A five-kilometer obstacle race, with pretend zombies chasing runners.

Start times 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 3. $87 for runners (Friday sign-up deadline); $32 for spectators. Burhamtown Plantation Sports Complex, Union Point.

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

36 comments Add your comment


February 7th, 2012
5:13 pm

First and foremost I’d like to say War Eagle,

and 2nd this sounds like fun


February 7th, 2012
5:38 pm

What’s a War Eagle?


February 7th, 2012
6:03 pm

Cool! I’d go, but why pay to be a spectator? Really.

Frank Furter

February 7th, 2012
6:21 pm

Our band is playing this event…hope everyone can make it !


February 7th, 2012
7:01 pm

Man, do you sound stupid when you ask that. Ok, lets get this straight. War Eagle is a saying. A war cry. The tiger is a mascot. Maybe people who haven’t won a national championship since 1980 can’t grasp the concept.

Yo MaMa

February 7th, 2012
7:32 pm

ABC- It’s yo mamas’ O face.


February 7th, 2012
8:10 pm

If everyone running goes into it with a positive frame of mind – and good running shoes – this should be pretty funny to watch. I’d love to see pictures from this. I won’t be running. The only zombies that I could outrun would be the ones from Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead.” The really, really slow ones.

Zombie Run | Your inbox is never empty…

February 7th, 2012
8:37 pm


February 7th, 2012
10:52 pm

Error in the article…Union City is not between Atlanta and Athens. Is the race in Union City or Union Point?


February 7th, 2012
11:04 pm

I saw an event like this on YouTube. It looks like a blast, but my health sucks right now. maybe next year.

[...] A few that I like… – Worried about too much coffee consumption? – Ever wanted to be chased by zombies and run a 5K? Here’s your chance. [...]

Morning Reads for Wednesday, February 8th

February 8th, 2012
7:14 am

[...] A few that I like… – Worried about too much coffee consumption? – Ever wanted to be chased by zombies and run a 5K? Here’s your chance. [...]

squirrelly mc cheesy grill pon pon pon

February 8th, 2012
7:55 am

So here is my movie idea, help me make it. An evil environmentalist who believes the only way to save the world is to have less people works on a Zombie virus covertly at the CDC where he has a job as a night janitor. He releases the virus at this run. It takes forever for the people to realize that some of the zombies are real. Hilarity ensues. The morale of the story will be how evil Libs are. The End. Thank you… send checks to me via Rodney Ho.


February 8th, 2012
8:01 am

Just head down to Mozley Park at 11:00pm any night and you can run for your life for free!

Mr. Obvious

February 8th, 2012
9:02 am

I already get chased and harassed by zombies each time I go downtown to a Braves game.

By “zombies,” I mean the drug-infused, jaywalking, jivetalking panhandlers and unlicensed ticket scalpers.

no really

February 8th, 2012
9:04 am

What is really dumb is posting a war cry on a blog. Do you start out all conversations yelling this?

Flesh Eater

February 8th, 2012
9:22 am

I’d like to rip the flesh off a leg humper! Hunker down!

Flesh Eater

February 8th, 2012
9:23 am

One more thing….WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!! I’m with you Bob.

Mr. Obvious

February 8th, 2012
9:41 am

If Monica Kaufman were a zombie, this blog would have been closed for commenting, too.


February 8th, 2012
10:37 am

This sounds like fun! However, I am waaaay to scary of a person to participate. It’s like haunted houses at Halloween, I know it’s not real but in the back of my mind I still think someone is going to try to get me for real. It took me being chased out by a chainsaw just once, at the one that used to be on Idlewood inside of that old hospital, to determine that I would never go to one again.

C from Marietta

February 8th, 2012
11:50 am

@really ?

LIGHTIN UP FRANCIS! Uptight just a little bit? LOL

[...] For more see this source article. [...]


February 8th, 2012
12:10 pm

gimmick races. rah.


February 8th, 2012
12:29 pm

Sonny Jackson

February 8th, 2012
12:34 pm

You people crack me up… although I do agree with Mr. Obvious.
Come on out and run with us… I promise a fun time and a great story you can tell in a bar for the next few years.


February 8th, 2012
2:03 pm

Looks like a blast.
Great idea for a fundraiser.


February 8th, 2012
2:08 pm

That would be DURHAMTOWN. Great place for motocross and other fun sports.


February 8th, 2012
2:30 pm

Rodney Ho is a complete Dbag.

Rodney Ho

February 8th, 2012
2:36 pm

@Buffdaddy. Hey thanks! Glad you’re a fan!


February 8th, 2012
2:39 pm

We already have zombies..they reside in Rodney’s American Idol blog…

Fran Rajotte

February 8th, 2012
3:45 pm

This sounds really great. Do you think there is a chance that we can do one of these in Nashville to benefit Visitation Hospital Foundation?


February 8th, 2012
3:56 pm

Only 87 dollars to run? Why so cheap?

Douglas K. Rutabaga

February 9th, 2012
1:40 am

If I wanted to be surrounded by a bunch of zombies, I’d attend a tea party rally!

Putting the GIF in TGIF! | The Nanigans

February 10th, 2012
9:48 am

[...] THIS IS RELATIVE TO MY INTERESTS: Now this sounds fun. I would totally do this. [...]

The Truth

February 10th, 2012
12:33 pm

A lot of people have already this changing classes on gt campus, pretty funny.

[...] Do you have $87? Do you want to be chased on a 5 kilometer obstacle course by zombies? Then have we … Comments – I was really excited about this when I first read it. Apparently, the course is a [...]