Truly Disturbing Meets Their Demise at the RUN FOR YOUR LIVES ZOMBIE 5K

I died yesterday, and it was all Lady Gaga’s fault.

Run For Your Lives, the original zombie-infested 5k obstacle course race, contaminated the Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, CA this weekend. Overall, this year’s RFYL seemed toned down as compared to last year’s—smaller location, smaller beer garden (gasp!), and no live band. But the course was definitely improved, plus there were decent showers (a must-have after a muddy course), and free spectator admission.

Yours truly (disturbing) was back again for the yearly reminder of how outta shape I really am. Thankfully I wasn’t alone in my wheezing. It’s safe to say the majority of runners (read: walkers) weren’t in peak physical condition. But let’s be honest. Most of us were there to be chased by zombies—because why else would anyone willingly run?

Speaking of zombies, even they showed signs of fatigue. In fact, one participant teased, “This is the most I’ve seen her run!” referring to his undead wife’s feeble attempt at grabbing flags. I might have chuckled with bated breath, but in reality I fared no better.

Over the 3.1-ish mile course, I resorted to some less-than-noble tactics, including placing the flags in front of my crotch in hopes of dissuading the zombies from getting’ handsy. That trick may have worked last year, but not this time around. Still, with two flags gone, I clung to hope and my one remaining flag that I could survive yet another zombie apocalypse. But in the end, it was Lady Gaga that did me in.

Just as I was nearing the homestretch, a couple of zombie Sirens lured me to my own demise with four little words: You dance, you pass. They shimmied and smiled with dead eyes as Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” blared in the background. Seemed legit. I shook my lady nalgas right passed them—and straight into the clutches of an unimpressed, overall-wearing zombie. YOINK. There went my last flag and any chance at that survivor medal.

Oh well, I shrugged. With no flags left for the zombies to swipe, I found they turned from frightening to friendly. Several even ushered me into their society with bloody high-fives and cheers.

Too bad zombie first-timer Amanda didn’t enjoy the same camaraderie. After swiping someone’s last flag, she took a shoulder to the face. (Totally against the rules, in case you’re wondering.) Still, she says, “being in the dark was awesome and made it more scary.” Plus, she made a girl scream in terror when she lunged at her. Amanda lifted 8 flags in all.

Andrew fared a little better, swiping 17 flags. (Show off.) But he, too, took a beating and a verbal lashing after taking a runner’s last flag. Sore losers aside, Andrew really enjoyed “getting into character and forgetting about real life for a couple of hours while getting to freak people out.” He intends to take his chance at being a runner next year. Let’s hope it’s not for vengeance.

If you’re ready to take your chances as either a runner or zombie, it’s not too late to join in the mayhem. Check out the various locations across the nation here: Maybe I’ll see you on the bloodtrail soon!

To read about last year’s exploits, see here:


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