We've all come to the same conclusion when watching movies, television shows or playing video games featuring zombies:
I could totally outrun them. Easy. I wouldn't trip, I wouldn't have to worry that my son Carl would get eaten (or turn into a cold-blooded killer) because he'd be as good at outrunning them as I would be, what with me being the sheriff and leading a group of survivors currently holed up in an abandoned prison.
Now's your chance to see if you really can outrun the zombie horde that only wants to feast on your flesh, as Zombie Bolt and Moore's Flying M Ranch host the Zombie Bolt Tulsa 5K Terror Run for the Wounded Warrior project on Saturday, Oct. 19.
Runners, walkers, shufflers, and shamblers alike will populate the beautiful and challenging off-road woods of Flying M Ranch in Inola, each person chasing after one goal: a good time.
"We want them to have so much fun, they just can't stand it," Zombie Bolt Executive Director Scott Lancaster said about the event.
Lancaster and fellow Zombie Bolt organizers Paul Crawford and John Pagonis came together two years ago looking for a new, fresh family-friendly idea for the Halloween season. They decided to put together a 5K event with a little twist.
The runners would be running for their "lives" while being chased down by zombies.
"With the zombie theme being so popular with things like The Walking Dead, we thought, 'Why not have a 5k?'" he said. "'People love to run in Oklahoma and just have the zombies chase the runners.'"
He admitted that he and his fellow Zombie Bolt founders have been surprised by how many people have participated over the past two years.
"We weren't sure what we were doing, so we thought if we got a few hundred people, that would be plenty," Lancaster said. "But by the time race day came, altogether with spectators, zombies, and participants, we had around between 2,000 to 2,500 people."
Oct. 5 saw the Guthrie incarnation of the annual race, and next week, it comes to Tulsa. Well, Inola, to be exact -- Moore's Flying M Ranch at 20707 E. 540 Rd. (known mainly for family-friendly events like the haunted hayride the "A-crop-lypse") hosts this year, although Debby Moore, who owns and operates the ranch alongside husband Scott and sons Jacob and Cody, wasn't immediately on board.
"My husband and I, we discussed the idea with our boys, and then our family prayed about it over the next few months," she said. "During that time, a representative from Red Frog Events wanted to visit and possibly hold the event Warrior Dash here," she said.
"Having RFE come to the ranch provided an opportunity to learn from their team on how to organize a 5K event, and a few months after the Warrior Dash, we hired Zombie Bolt crew to team up with and bring the event to life in Tulsa." Moore said.
The race, which will begin at 6pm on Saturday, will be 3.11 miles long through the woods and the rolling hills of the ranch. Though it's not an obstacle course, there are natural impediments to worry about, not to mention the hordes of the undead.
"The only obstacles on the course will be the zombies and the natural terrain of the 300-plus acres," Moore said. "They may even see a few 'zombie cows' along the way."
Zombie Bolt participants can either be live runners or zombies.
Live runners will wear flags (representing their lives) to wear around their waists much like in flag football. Everybody -- live runners and zombies alike -- is encouraged to finish the race, but the live runners' goal is to finish with their lives. Runners who lose their lives to zombies will have opportunities to regain it with different locations throughout course.
"We will have two regeneration stations strategically placed along the course where runners may go for hydration and to gain life back," Moore said.
The regeneration stations will also be zombie-free, meaning runners can rest without worrying about zombie attacks.
Zombie participants have three options available for their undead experience, and all zombies have a chance, starting at 4pm, to get into some professional zombie makeup. The wanderer zombie and limper zombie will be the more traditional style of zombie in the sense of what we see on The Walking Dead. They will be placed in designated areas throughout the race, popping out here and there to swipe at flags. The third option is the one that live runners will have the most trouble with. The bolter zombie has no constraints and will be looking to run down each live runner. The zombie participants will have extra incentives as well, with the participants with the most flags awarded prizes.
All runners though who complete the race will be awarded a medal of sorts.
"Normally you will get a medal for a 5K, but those who finish our 5K will get an ear necklace," Lancaster said. And yes, he said "ear necklace." Think Daryl Dixon.
After the race, participants and their families can enjoy live music, free food, and different Halloween festivities ranging from face painting to pumpkin patches, to name but a few. Both Zombie Bolt and Moore's Flying M Ranch want the participants to know they want a family friendly environment.
"We really want to create a fun, family atmosphere so all ages can enjoy the event and create memories that will keep folks coming back each year," Moore said.
The event will also benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. All proceeds will go to the organization to help raise awareness of the needs of injured service members.
"We are grateful to our service men and women and their families for the sacrifices they have made and continue to make, and the Wounded Warrior project helps our service men and women on many levels," Moore said.
So if think you have what it takes to survive, your ultimate test awaits you at Moore's Flying M Ranch. The Zombie Bolt kicks off at 6pm, and the post-race festival runs from 5-10pm.
For information and to register, visit zombiebolt.com (register to be a live runner or a zombie bolter for $25, a limper for $20, or a wanderer for $15, and the post-race festival is free for everyone).
Better hurry though. Everyone's dying to be a part of it.
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