In an earlier article, I interviewed Carrie Snyder about this upcoming event, but on Sunday, April 7th at 6:00 AM, Philadelphia, known for its top class museums, the Mummers Parade, cheesesteaks, and the Liberty Bell, was attacked by zombies. Yes, it was the premier launch of Zombie Run – Philadelphia, and zombies from every nook and cranny arrived at the park, and they came hungry for tasty brains. Professor Levitsky’s experiment with the bio-chemical compound 894 had a minor glitch. How minor, you dare ask? Let’s just say that out of the thousands of runners scheduled to escape the hungry hoard, few made it to safety. Find out more after the jump.
My grandsons, Nathan, age 10, and Joshua, age 16, stayed over yesterday and although we went to bed early, getting up at 5 AM is no picnic. When we arrived at the FDR Park in South Philadelphia at six in the morning, it was still dark and very cold and although we were dressed warm, we were freezing as we waited with a few hundred other sleepy heads for our turn to be made up as zombies.
There were at least twenty professional make-up artists, but they only had two hours to make us all look zombified before the runners showed up. Wyatt from Field of Screams was my make-up specialist and I think he did a good job. Don’t the boys look great? After the make-up was completed we were sprayed with fake blood. When we looked dead enough, we were loaded onto a bus and given a list of zombie behavior protocols by Tommy, team leader for section four. The boys were upset when they found out that they could not bite the runners.
There were at least twenty of us dropped off at section four. This was the site of a bad car accident and the cars were made to look damaged. When the siren went off, the runners began the race. There were helicopters flying overhead, police cars, people in military outfits to add to the realism of an actual zombie apocalypse.
Our job as zombies was to grab and break the balloons as the runners ran past us. Each balloon represented a vital organ and once all the balloons were broken, the runner was deader than a doorknob. We had a great group of zombies at section four and we worked as a team to grab the balloons. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. The runners will do all in their power not to die and they can run really fast; I don’t. So my grandson stuck a branch into me and I was used as a decoy to divert the runners towards the other zombies, who either hid behind the cars and trees, or played dead. The zombies were winning.
After the race, there was a huge party. Music was supplied by WMMR, 93.3 and there were vendors selling food and zombie items. We did get to see one runner dressed as “The Walking Dead” character, Rick Grimes. He offered to take a picture with Nathan and me, which was very nice of him, but we ate him anyway.
Everyone had a great time and it was for a good cause, Active Heroes. The event was well organized and a large round of applause goes to Dave Feinman, Andrew Hudis, Carrie Snyder, and Randy Alexander, President and CEO of Randex Communications. Check their site to see what other cities will be hosting Zombie Run – Philadelphia and next year, maybe you’ll be tempted to enter the run, either as a zombie, a runner or an observer. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get me some tasty zombie snacks.