Words: Scott Cousins│ Photos: Pixby Suzi
The Zombie Apocalypse … one imagines running, screaming, surviving, and being as scared as a politician faced with real work - and you wouldn't be far off.
There were zombies running around, and a whole lot of screaming going on, however you walked away (yes walked away) from being zombie fast food, smiling. Smiling because you realised that you actually contributed to help sustain the environment and therefore humanity, as all proceeds from each run are donated to environmental organisations. Strange to think that partaking in a Zombie Apocalypse actually benefits humanity, strange indeed.
Arriving at the Goldfields Showgrounds on Saturday, 31 August 2013, takkies tied and carbohydrates consumed, I was ready to face the zombies and come out victorious. The Geekfest was in full swing and had the feel of a medieval carnival hosted by a bikers club, with a sprinkling of the walking dead. It was a surreal environment and a fantastic start to our day of zombie survival.
Twilight approached and unlike sparkly vampires playing baseball and smiling toothy grins, the zombies were on the prowl and it was lives they were seeking, not a long-lost love.
The run begins and I set a nice easy pace to ensure my zombie pudding ‘beer boep’ and entrée eyeballs are not on the Zombie early-meal plan. Down a little stretch and it feels as if every breath is made of some type of Durban Indian curry powder, my legs are leaden and I pick up my first of (hopefully) many lives. Lives come in the form of red material strips placed in the mid-section area, and are to be safeguarded from zombies better than Julius and his tax returns.
Further on I encounter my first zombies. Three or four of the walking dead are ambling about, looking for red tags and humans to catch. Now out of breath and feeling wobbly, I surprise myself with a burst of speed to match Schummy in his heyday, and with a bit of deft side stepping and tricky feet, I’m through and left to live another day.
With a few obstacles to conquer, making our already painful day harder, we come upon what can only be described as a container that looks like zombie cereal. Searching through the goo brings about a marble (eyeball?), which is traded for another life. Through a couple of obstacles and a few lives found along the way, attacking zombies as relentless as SANRAL and the e-tag commercials, we continue on to find more surprises.
One pair of zombies are particularly deft and swift, with surprising hand speed and reactions – they must have been a newly-turned variety, as they still had most of their skin and a bit of reasoning power. Two lives down, but still in the game with my lone ranger red tag acting like a homing beacon for the dead. A quick pit stop for some water and much needed rest – it’s a no zombie zone, sort of like a human base for the weary and few remaining survivors.
Back out in the Zombie buffet we are greeted by a wall of the dead, who look like desperate men picking out a new wife, all greedy and foaming at the mouth. I make it through but feel slightly strange, light headed, and in need of a very rare steak. This is when I notice that my remaining life was snagged by the zombie horde and I have in fact become one of them myself; I am now the walking dead.
I continue the race, knowing I can still finish the course, not as a survivor, but as a dead competitor. So I strive on, enjoying my last few kilometres as a functioning member of the human race. (This is referring to the “incubation” period before turning into a zombie)
The run is enjoyable and continues through the winding streets of suburbia and then back into the arena that is the Geekfest. One last pit stop and breather prepares us for the home stretch. Home stretch it might be, but zombie infested it is. Onward bound we press, but the zombies ignore me as if I’m not too their liking; seems I am one of them now. So, as the few remaining survivors run as if their lives depend on it, I amble across and finish at a steady and furiously paced walk.
It’s done, and as the zombies feast on their red tags and keep themselves entertained, I listen to the wrap up, grab some much-need freebies and head off home slightly tired, dreaming of a very rare piece of meat (slightly disturbing that) and thoroughly having had a great time.
Zombies 1, me 0. See you in the apocalypse.
For more details on the Zombie Run, or entering the next Zombie Run on 30 November 2013 in Durban, visit www.zombierunsa.com