My greatest fears and yet one of my geekiest fantasies came as close to coming true as possible this past weekend in Bellflower at the 2015 Zombie Blood Run. Thanks to the kind organizers at www.zombiebloodrun.com, I got to experience a zombie-infested obstacle course and mazes, AND I shot at zombies…well, with a paintball gun. Either way, all my mental preparation and my Call of Duty skills turned out to be quite useful. I survived the apocalypse with nothing more than a sore ankle and burning quads.
My day started with massive amounts of sunscreen, a protein shake, and a new pair of shoes. I was ready to take on the zombies that were bound to be chasing me through the obstacle course and the mazes. Dressed to be killed (please tell me you got the pun), I arrived at the venue and got to see a world of blood, gore, and very friendly/helpful zombies! After running into a friend from Scare LA (you may recognize Ziggy on the right from the Scare LA photo album) and experiencing some zombie bromance action between Ziggy and Spazz, I was shown around and introduced to other zombies. One in particular caught my eyes with her scary makeup and the snacks she carried with her. Her name was Nesha, and she was kind enough to speak with me a brief moment, and gave me a few tidbits to share with readers.
Cheyenne: How long have you been involved in being a zombie in the Zombie Blood Run?
Nesha: This is my first year. It seemed fun and I like the fun makeup and being scary and silly.
C: Is zombie culture something that you particularly enjoy?
N: Yeah, I think they’re pretty cool.
C: What’s your favorite genre of horror? Slasher, comical, etc?
N: I love cheezy horror films. My favorite is Killer Clowns From Outer Space.
C: Based solely on your interactions with people so far and the makeup experience, would you try this again?
N: Yes, I think so. But I still haven’t scared anyone yet so we’ll see I guess how I like the rest.
Her costume included two snacks of a brain and a heart, sunken-in and almost missing eyes, and a few nasty gashes. I spoke briefly with a few more people, watched the makeup artists create some of the zombies, including Nurse Decay herself, and got ready to run the 5K!
During the run, I found myself barreling down dim and eerily-lit hallways full of fake webs and sticky walls in short mazes, dodging zombies between broken down structures and cars whilst getting lost, and searching frantically for small glowing green vials of an antivirus. A friendly zombie playing a harmonica (I came to know as DJ) led myself and a large group of lost survivors away from some confusing areas and got us back on the proper track a few times.
After getting through what I would estimate to be about 4.75 kilometers, the groups that were released in the time slots were collecting at a couple of tables covered in paintball guns. It was the answer to my prayers! I was actually very disappointed by how short the paintball section was, and that there were not as many zombies there to be shot at, but I let off about ten paintballs into one zombie’s rear end. Sorry for the bruising, buddy (#sorrynotsorry). The final stretch held a few straggling zombies, but I crossed the finish line with a single life of three remaining. I immediately collapsed on the ground. My very first 5K, which I had not trained for AT ALL, and I still finished. I was and still am pretty proud of myself, and the medal I got definitely holds a special spot in my heart and on my wall.
For anyone who might want to attend next year’s, or similar events, I suggest training for the run in advance, both mentally and physically. Although I did not prepare my body, I believe I succeeded because my mind was hell-bent on leaving zombies in the dust. Stay hydrated (I did not), eat well hours beforehand with light snacks, and most importantly, HAVE FUN! It’s not really a race (unless otherwise stated) and it’s more fun to take your time and experience all the fun gore and creepiness than to blow through it all in a mad dash to the finish. I am super excited for the next one I do, and I’ll be attending the 2016 Zombie Blood Run, to maybe be a runner AND a zombie!