5k chase: Does a zombie run result in more injuries?

Typically, road (or trail) (or obstacle) races are somewhat “easy” going. You can run as leisurely or as intensely as you’d like. You can set your own pace, pop in some tunes, join up with friends, and cruise along an enjoyable route. It’s fun to most; addicting to many.

Not this one. This one is different.

This particular race is a 5k obstacle. We’ve all seen those. Many have completed one or some. They’re fun. They certainly have their place in the world of running. They’re great to mix up the monotony of racing and add some muscle-use diversity. But this one isn’t just a 5k race. It’s a 5k chase.

The zombie run, “Run For Your Lives,” is making its way to Greensboro, Georgia (Atlanta?) on March 3. The concept sounds super cool, especially considering the popularity of all-things-zombie right now: Runners wear flags much like flag football and run through 3.2 miles of obstacles, water, and mud, all the while trying not to be bitten (or have your flag pulled) by a volunteer zombie. Watch out!

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It all looks and sounds really fun. Then I start visualizing how I’d run this race. And I get discouraged. I think we all have that seed of competitiveness inside of us. I can only IMAGINE my inner competitor coming out in a try-and-get-my-flag race. I would definitely be going allllll out. So much so that I can only see myself getting injured. And I wonder if races like this result in more injuries. People are probably “going harder,” running, cutting, spinning, jumping. Whatever the imagination could conjure up. All so that their flags don’t get picked. I can only imagine the chaos that is an obstacle…surrounded by “zombies.” No thank you. And even the name of the run is a bit daunting. Run…for my life? Couldn’t we make this adventure race positive? WARRIOR dash. I’ve accomplished something. SPARTAN race. I’m super bad! Even Muddy Buddy makes me smile. Run for my life? I’ll pass.

Is one 5k race really worth a pulled muscle, broken bone, or even worse? I’m sure they have the proper medical staff nearby and take all appropriate precautions and blahblahblahblah. But once you’re hurt, you’re hurt. I can tell you than when I pulled my quad, it was by far the worst pain I’ve ever felt. And I told myself nothing would be worth that pain again. Not even a muddy zombie race.

I’m not trying to be a killjoy. I just think that everyone runner has a responsibility to the length of his or her running career to consider the consequences of each adventure.

What do you guys think? Do you think 5k chases result in more injuries? Is it worth it? Weigh in!

4 thoughts on “5k chase: Does a zombie run result in more injuries?

  1. As someone new to running, prone to shin splints, and very competitive, a race like this would only prove hazardous to my health. I’m still working on my breathing (ahem, wheezing) while running, and my muscles aren’t well trained in general. I could see this working for more seasoned runners who prefer obstacles and a different challenge, but as a newbie, I’m staying far away.

    • Thanks for the comment! Good point. I think experience would definitely play a role in knowing your own boundaries and comfort levels.

  2. I’ve run the RFYL in Ohio – and yes I did get badly injured – so obviously my opinion is that you are more prone to injury in this kind of event, and particularly in RFYL.

    How injured? Bruised and separated rib.

    But with that having been said RFYL is a lot of fun! If you haven’t done it yet, you should – at least once.

    PS – Thanks for following me 😉

    • GOY, thanks for the comment! That’s really interesting about your injuries. I’ve actually received a good bit of organic traffic from “zombie run injuries” and related searches. Plus more I don’t know about :). So that’s validation right there. But whether those types of races — adventure races or whatever you want to call them — cause more injuries than your typical run to the finish line is what is super interesting to me. But I guess participants have to be weary of all possibilities during any race. That being said, I do want to participate in at least one of every adventure race out there, so RFYL is definitely on my list. Thanks!

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