Race Recap: The Zombie Run Charlotte

I'm a survivor! That's right. I survived the crazy Zombie Run and outran the sprinting (yes, sprinting) zombies. And by survived, I mean I finished the race with one of my three "vital organs" (i.e., red balloons tied around my waist).

This was my first novelty race and I definitely prefer normal, timed races to these fun runs, but I still had a good time. And despite my initial disappointment that the race organizers moved the race location from Freedom Park to the Cabarrus Arena just a few weeks before the race, I have to admit that I'm not sure where the race would actually have taken place if Freedom Park had been the location. That park is wonderful, but it's definitely too small for an event like this.


As is common (I'm guessing) with novelty races, there are a lot of run/walkers or just walkers (human walkers, not Walking Dead walkers), so I had to keep dodging around groups of people walking to try to get through the course, which was mildly annoying but also expected at this type of event, so no points off for that. The start was a little frustrating because they had us line up at the starting line, but then we stood there for a good 20 minutes before the race even started, and they finally released the humans in waves (I was in the fourth wave, I think).

I'm not entirely sure of the distance since I lost GPS reception, but I think it was just shy of a 5K (even though it's advertised as one) and I was out on the course for about 24 minutes. One other thing to note about the course: it is not a road race. With the exception of a short stretch through a parking lot, most of it was on very uneven trails with some steep inclines. So not only are you dodging zombies, but you have to watch your footing carefully, too (especially if you're not used to trail running).


As mentioned earlier, there were sprinting zombies, and by the end of the race hardly anyone had balloons left. And unfortunately for humans (like me) who still had balloons, the zombie herd density seemed to increase the closer you got to the end and the zombies really zeroed in on those lonely balloons. Earlier in the race, there were herds of zombies grouped together with a little break in between each pack, so I could save energy by sprinting through the zombie herds and then just jog it out in between (sort of like interval training!). But that last three-quarters of a mile or so was pretty much a sprint-and-dodge to the finish because there were just no breaks in the zombies.

I was a little disappointed that I didn't get anything (other than bragging rights) for "surviving." Maybe I'm just spoiled by races where you get prizes or medals, but there really were so few people who survived, it would have been cool to get some kind of prize (medal, survivor certificate, something!). Overall though, I had a good time and got a good workout while sprinting around on trails under the hot mid-day sun, but probably won't be back next year. One zombie apocalypse survival is enough for me.