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03.12 The Undead Invade Massachusetts


By Michael Walsh

The following is a public service announcement.

On Cinco de Mayo 2012, a whole new kind of crazy will be unleashed locally. An epidemic is rapidly spreading throughout the nation and we’re to be infected next. On May 5th, Amesbury Sports Park in Amesbury, MA will be the epicenter of a zombie outbreak. The only question that remains is whether you’re going to be able to outrun them and stay alive.

If you think you have a little Bruce Campbell or Woody Harrelson in you and can outrun those undead beasts, this is your opportunity.

Join the masses for a 5K obstacle course unlike anything you have seen before (and if you aren’t fast enough, will ever see again) as the Run For Your Lives competition comes to MA. For the price of admission ($77 and your soul), you will receive a flag belt, T-Shirt, and admittance to the Apocalypse Party after the race.

You will then proceed with the rest of the surviving humans to cross a course laced with 12 obstacles and teeming with hordes of the undead who crave nothing more than your brains and flags. Make it through unscathed and you live to fight another day and earn a medal.

Some gyms, like Optimal Performance Center in Shrewsbury, have put together a team to tackle the event. Says Craig Lindberg, founder/co-owner of OPC, “This is my/our first year running. We have 25+ running the event. We don’t run for a cause but for the solidarity. OPC is very supportive of one another in our collective fitness pursuits.”

For some, it’s the physicality of running a 5K obstacle course that’s the draw; for others, it’s the zombie factor that’s most appealing. Lindberg shares that “I actually hate running, but thought an obstacle course 5k infested with zombies was right up my/our alley. I’m a huge horror fan and actually play horror movie clips during some of my classes.”

Not all of Lindberg’s teammates embrace zombies, even fake ones, like he does, though: “Some of our registered runners were/are actually nervous about the zombie factor. It’s a little funny that even knowing they aren’t real, they can still have a profound effect on people. But at OPC, it’s an all for one, one for all sort of mentality. We are really just looking forward to a challenging run, a little scare, and a good day with great people.”

All contestants and spectators are invited to celebrate the end of days at the Apocalypse Party ~ where the dead, undead, and alive can grab a pint and celebrate in strained harmony, just like the Mayans predicted it.

Runners can sign up until March 20th before the cost bumps up to $87, while a “coward’s” ticket to sit on the sidelines until the party will run you $32, which is really nothing ~ because as they say, you can’t take it with you.

However, if you are strapped for cash at the end of the world, you can surrender and become a member of the walking dead for $25. As a reward for joining the brain hungry masses, you will go through zombie transformation and receive passes to the Apocalypse Party and Campgrounds along with snacks and the one thing zombies crave as much as brains: a free beer!

Good night and good luck, human race. You have now been warned.

For more information, head to

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