Earlier this year radio evangelist Harold Camping predicted that on May 21, three percent of the population would ascend to heaven and the rest of us would die a horrible death. Now he states that we have been given a five-month reprieve and the new date of destruction is Oct. 21.
So what will you be doing on Oct. 22? I have a full day planned and at some point in the afternoon, I will be running through the woods with zombies in hot pursuit of my warm flesh. Just a typical post-apocalyptic Saturday afternoon.
One of the things you learn from being an athlete is to set goals for yourself. Whenever I accomplish a sports goal, I immediately begin thinking about the next one. Last summer after a successful romp in Germany at the Gay Games with fellow athletes from Team D.C., I went online and signed up to compete in the Warrior Dash in Southern Pennsylvania.
Having the next goal in place gives me the motivation I need to stay in the gym and give my workouts some purpose. The Warrior Dash is a 3.5-mile obstacle course through the woods involving mud, fire, ropes, water and an assortment of other obstacles. Last year the Warrior Dash exploded all over the United States and, as is typical of a nationwide phenomenon, copycats also started popping up. After completing the Warrior Dash, on that warm October day, I rushed home to transform myself into a zombie.
With Halloween approaching, that night’s activities involved a zombie pub crawl in the streets of Baltimore. About 60 of us dressed as zombies staggered from bar to bar and even invaded the meat department at Safeway. For me, it was a perfect day. Around the same time, I discovered the AMC television series “The Walking Dead.” It’s about a group of people who survive a zombie apocalypse and their subsequent fight to stay alive amidst the constant threat of tireless zombies.
On the heart pumping suspense scale, the show rates a 10. Several years ago there was a reemergence of the vampire genre. They started showing up everywhere in films, television and novels. I found myself amused but not quite as excited about it as everyone else. I never made it through an entire “Twilight” movie and I have only seen a few episodes of “True Blood.” Unlike the vampires, the zombies’ revival has totally captured of my attention. “The Walking Dead” series ended in November and I wondered how I would fulfill my zombie lust until the series started back up in 11 months.
Thankfully, several of my co-workers were also hooked on the series, so all of our water cooler moments for the next several months were riddled with zombie talk. Even Brad Pitt has jumped on the bandwagon — he’s currently filming “World War Z” based on the novel by Max Brooks. In May, I competed in another Warrior Dash in Mechanicsville, Md. As we were walking out, covered from head to toe in mud, I was already wondering what event I was going to train for next. Someone handed me a flyer. Some genius had thought to combine zombies with a sporting event. I had died and gone to zombie heaven.
On Oct. 22, an event called Run for Your Lives will be contested in Darlington, Md. The competitors, wearing flag football belts, will navigate 12 obstacles throughout a 5K course in an attempt to make it to the finish line while avoiding zombies. You’re not just running against the clock, you’re running from brain-hungry, virus-spreading, bloody zombies. If the zombies grab all of your flags before the finish line, you are considered transformed.Of course there will be an apocalypse party after the chase with beer, music and warm “things” on the grill. A great opportunity to party like there is no tomorrow. Check out the details at runforyourlives.com.