Run for Your Lives

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Run For Your Lives
A Zombie-Infested 5K Obstacle Course Race
Genre Adventure Race
Frequency Recurring
Location(s) United States
Website
runforyourlivesasia.com

Run For Your Lives (RFYL) is a 5K obstacle course adventure run series created by Maryland-based Reed Street Productions (RSP). Like other obstacle races, runners navigate through various terrain and physically challenging obstacles. Unlike other obstacle races, runners try to dodge and escape from zombies roaming the course trying to grab flags from runners' flagbelts, similar to flag football.[1] The course was designed to incorporate zombies as well as SERE training learned by a RSP managing-member who is active-duty navy.[2] The inaugural race had about 12,000 attendees[3] and was covered by multiple news sources.

The event is billed as training for when the real zombie apocalypse comes.[4] During and after the race, people attend the Apocalypse Party which has live music, beer, food, vendors, and games. Each participant is individually timed and broken into 9 competitive age divisions.[5] Costumes, team uniforms, and zombie make-up are highly encouraged at the event and add to the lighthearted atmosphere.[3]

On October 31, 2013, Colorado-based Human Movement Management (HMM) took control of the Run For Your Lives Zombie 5k and will be continuing with the rest of the 2013 and 2014 races.[6]

Run For Your Lives Asia (RFYLA) originated from the US event and is wholly owned and managed by Action X, an independent Singapore based event production company. The first Asian leg took place in Singapore on January 11, 2014 right in the heart of the city at Marina Bay to resounding success. There was close to 10,000 participants that took part in the event all the way from 3 in the afternoon till 11 at night. The asian franchise has been rebranded to drop the word Asia and instead list the country's name after the parent brand. [7]

Development[edit]

Reed Street Productions, the creators of Run For Your Lives, was formed in 2011. The initial purpose of the race was to have a small event to help improve awareness of the sponsor Warwear.[8] However, the race gathered a lot of interest helping RSP to expand the event and eventually take it to other cities in 2012. The first RFYL event was held at Camp Ramblewood near Baltimore, MD on October 22, 2011. Over 10,000 runners registered, and over 12,000 people came to experience the zombie apocalypse.[9]

The Race[edit]

RFYL-Blood Pit.jpg

Course[edit]

RFYL courses are typically 5K in length, although each course varies by location and trail layout. Trails are mostly through wooded areas with some open fields and water barriers depending on location.[3] Each race has around 12 man-made and natural obstacles that runners must overcome.[10] The creators of the race do not reveal the obstacles as to keep the course a secret, but obstacles typically involve climbing, sliding, crawling, dodging, and sometimes swimming.

RFYL courses also have multiple paths to the finish line. The Run For Your Lives website states, "There will be a start line, and a finish line, but what happens in between is up to you."[10] Some routes are dead ends, and others may take longer or have more zombies in the area. There are also health packs on the course which runners can find to ensure their survival at the finish line.[10]

Zombie Chase.jpg

Zombies[edit]

Anyone can sign up to be a zombie. Each zombie is professionally made-up and are not supplied with wardrobe, although costumes brought are zombified. Zombies chase after runners and try to grab flags off of runners' flagbelts.[11] The creators of the race do not release how many zombies are on the course to keep the course a secret.

Determining locations[edit]

Each location is near a major city. Also, a lot of space is needed for the course. At least 150 acres.[12]

Apocalypse party[edit]

During and after the race, participants and spectators attend the Apocalypse Party. Multiple food and beer vendors are at the event as well as our merchandise tent where we sell all-things zombie .[13] While dancing to the DJ's hits, we have contests and entertainment.[14] At some events, local celebrities have made appearances, such as IronE Singleton, T-Dog from AMC's The Walking Dead[15] and Sal and Richard from the Howard Stern Show.

Charity partnerships[edit]

Kennedy Krieger Institute[edit]

The Kennedy Krieger Institute is a national charitable partner of Run For Your Lives for 2013. A portion of every ticket sold at each race is donated to the Kennedy Krieger Institute to help diagnose and treat children and adolescents with disorders of the brain, spinal cord, and musculoskeletal system.

Project Sole[edit]

In 2012, Run For Your Lives established a partnership with Project Sole, a non-profit organization that collects shoes to raise money for domestic schools and civic organizations while distributing footwear to impoverished and disaster stricken communities throughout the world. At each event, Run For Your Lives participants have the option to donate their used sneakers after the race.[16]

Event calendar[edit]

2011[edit]

State Location Date
Maryland Camp Ramblewood October 22, 2011

2012[edit]

State Location Date
Georgia Durhamtown Plantation Sports Complex March 3, 2012
Massachusetts Amesbury Sports Park May 5, 2012
Minnesota Spring Creek Motorcross June 2, 2012
Indiana Boondocks Farms June 23, 2012
Colorado Thunder Valley Motorcross July 14, 2012
Washington Burntridge MX Park August 4, 2012
Missouri Wright City August 18, 2012
Pennsylvania Switchback Raceway September 1, 2012
Toronto Burls Creek Family Event Park September 22, 2012
California Vail Lake Village October 20, 2012
Maryland Camp Ramblewood October 27 and 28, 2012
Florida Revolution Off Road November 17, 2012
Texas Big Longhorn Ranch December 15, 2012

2013[edit]

State Location Date
South Florida Miami April 27, 2013
California Clearlake Oaks May 11, 2013
Ohio South Logan May 25, 2013
Texas: DFW South Forney June 1, 2013
New Jersey Medford June 8, 2013
Indiana Knightstown June 22, 2013
Colorado Byers June 29, 2013
Minnesota Millville July 13, 2013
Pennsylvania Wampum August 3, 2013
New York Batavia August 17, 2013
Washington McCleary August 24, 2013
new-hampshire Candia September 7, 2013
Georgia Dalton September 14, 2013
Illinois Byron September 21, 2013
California San Bernardino September 28, 2013
maryland Charlotte Hall, MD October 5, 2013
Missouri Wright City October 12, 2013
brooklyn-nyc Brooklyn October 26, 2013
Arizona Sacaton November 2, 2013
Austin Cedar Creek December 7, 2013

Race cessation and new management[edit]

On October 30, 2013, registered participants for upcoming races received an email from Run For Your Lives stating in part, “It is with great sadness that we are notifying you that the Run For Your Lives event you have purchased a ticket for has been canceled ... all events are postponed indefinitely and you should contact your bank for a full refund.”

On October 31, 2013 it was announced that Human Movement Management was taking over all future Run For Your Lives events and putting them on free of charge for all registered participants. Jeff Suffolk, president of Human Movement, said his four-year-old company decided to stage the events after reading postings on Facebook and other sites from upset ticketholders. "The things that pained us the most was seeing some of those posts yesterday," he said, "saying this was their first 5K and that this would be the last time they signed up for a 5K. … We're doing it for our industry. We're doing it for people who have a lot at stake in signing up for these races."

William Ward, former vice president of marketing for Run for Your Lives LLC, said the company's head, Ryan Hogan, agreed to let Human Movement take over the zombie runs at no cost. He said the company handed over its list of people who bought tickets to Human Movement Management.

Asian market[edit]

Recognizing the opportunity in Asia, Arthur Lin, co-founder of Action X, made contact with Reed Street Productions to bring the event over to the Far East. With Singapore in mind as the first stop, Action X was founded on May 10, 2013 to organise Run For Your Lives events all throughout Asia. A franchise model was adopted with Action X given full rights to organise the runs in several Asian countries. The event was thus branded as Run For Your Lives Asia with the intention to bring the event, billed as the original Zombie 5K, to countries such as Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, China and several others in 2014 and 2015. With the insolvency of Reed Street Productions, Action X now wholly owns the right to conduct the event in Asia and the world.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "To Get A Better Workout, Train With Zombies" Oprah.com. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
  2. ^ "Zombies Infect Obstacle Course" CNN Money. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
  3. ^ a b c "Dodging Zombies, Clowns in 5K" ESPN.com. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
  4. ^ "Run For Your Lives | What You Get Run For Your Lives. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
  5. ^ Run For Your Lives | Awards Run For Your Lives. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
  6. ^ Aguilar, John. "Run for Your Lives: Louisville company breathes life into zombie races". Daily Camera. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  7. ^ Run For Your Lives Asia Run For Your Lives. Retrieved 2013-11-18.
  8. ^ "The Zombies Are Coming! Run For Your Life!" Austin Post. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
  9. ^ "I Believe in Zombies" Cross Fit Journal. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
  10. ^ a b c Run For Your Lives | How It Works Run For Your Lives. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
  11. ^ Run For Your Lives | Zombies Run For Your Lives. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
  12. ^ Run For Your Lives Interview. Addicted-To-Zombies.com Retrieved 2013-08-07.
  13. ^ Run For Your Lives | Party Run For Your Lives. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
  14. ^ Run For Your Lives | Entertainment Run For Your Lives. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
  15. ^ Run For Your Lives | Celebrities
  16. ^ Project Sole | Saving Brains & Sparing Soles Project Sole. Retrieved 2012-04-19.