Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Zombies Invade Miami!

The Walking Dead. World War Z. Zombieland.

A common theme in today's media centers around zombies. People are creating action plans for what they would do is a zombie apocalypse were to occur. Supplies are being stocked up that would help sustain the population in case we were ever faced with these flesh eating monstrosities. Not only has this become an obsession that TV and movies have taken and run with, it's also being incorporated into other aspects of life. One such example of this was held last Saturday, October 19, 2013 in Miami.

The Zombie Rush 5K is an event that is sponsored by Ultimate Combatant and involves people dressing up as zombies chasing after participants, trying to pull flags that represent their lives. It's an event that I hadn't participated in prior to this event, so the anxiety levels were pretty high leading up to the actual race itself. I really had no idea what to expect. Personally, people/things jumping out of hidden places is not a favorite pasttime of mine - hence my dislike of haunted houses. Needless to say, the car ride down to Miami was a bit tense.

Once we got to the race location, Nick, Hallie, and I picked up our race packets, pinned on our numbers (some of us with greater ease than others - right Nick?), looped our flag belts around our waists, and started to amp ourselves up. We had about an hour before our heat took off, so we walked around for a bit and took in the sights and sounds. The race itself started in an old, "abandoned" storage unit that had been spray painted with warnings about upcoming zombies and dangers ahead on the course. It definitely helped to set the mood for the race.

Finally, 9:30 am rolled around and it was time for us to begin! We were greeted with piercing sirens and clouds of smoke as we emerged from the storage unit. Also waiting for us was the first round of zombies. Dodging through grasping, flag-grabbing hands and stumbling runners, I was able to make it through unscathed with all three of my flags still securely attached to my belt.

As the race progressed, obstacles that had been strewn throughout the course were encountered. Mud pits, ladders, walls, tiling tubes, and sand pits were amongst the various objects used to slow down and challenge us runners. Along with the obstacles, groups of zombies were spread throughout the run, which called for random bursts of speed in order to survive. I managed to make it through all of the obstacles without losing a flag (I donated one to Nick because he continually lost his flags due to his lack of elusive moves/stupidity). That is until we reached the last group of obstacles.

By the end of the race, we were all exhausted. Between the random sprinting, daunting physical tasks, and the Florida sun/heat/humidity, energy levels were low and a precious commodity. The end of the race was comprised of a pile of tires, sand pit, water slide, and mud crawl before finally reaching the finish line. As we approached the pile of tires, we were met faced with 4 zombies all between the ages of 8 and 14 (aka small-children-with-ample-amounts-of-energy-chasing-tired-runners-and-ruining-their-no-lives-lost-streak). My luck had finally run out.

As we crossed the finish line, thirst-quenching bottles of water were grabbed, the rinsing off of mud and grime commenced, surviror tags were handed out, and t-shirts were attained. The race itself was a lot of fun and not as stress inducing as I had pictured it to be. Following the race, we headed over to Nick's sister's house for a proper shower and clean-up. From there, we grabbed some lunch at an awesome sub shop and then headed to our hotel for the night. We were meeting our friends Cassie and Jordan that afternoon and heading to a beer festival in nearby Coconut Grove.

After checking in, Nick, Hallie, and I strolled around South Beach for a bit, scouting out a possible plan of attack for later that night. When Cassie and Jordan arrived, we hailed a cab and headed to Grovetoberfest! I went last year and had another great experience this year as well! We met up with our friends Ashley, Ali, and Jen and enjoyed the over 200 various craft beers and ciders that were available for sampling. Three hours and ample amounts of free samples later, we were all ready to head back to the hotel to prepare ourselves for a night out in Miami.

We finally made our way out of the hotel around 11 pm after taking in a couple hours of college football and fighting over covers to keep from turning into icicles in the hotel room. The night started at Wet Willie's with a round of slushies that never disappoint! We then met up with Phetsada, Vanessa, Javelle, and Ali at The Clevelander, where we made our way up to the rooftop. The sights of Miami at night provided a nice background to the thumping beats and dancing bodies that littered the rooftop. The night was capped off with some fantastic pizza. All in all it was a great way to end a long, fulfilling day!

*All pictures of zombie race signs are courtesy of Ultimate Combatant*

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