Zombie Night Run UK

Date: 19th October 2013

Profile: Hilly

Terrain: Trail

Weather: Raining!

Website: Zombie Night Run

Positives: great fun run, brilliant support from marshals and other runners

Negatives: the weather, no medal, cost

This was our first ever obstacle race, and @TheWelshWookie and I had planned our outfits far more than we had planned the run itself!

My sister-in-law, Janice, transformed us into zombies, and she did a great job:

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We arrived at Helensburgh Rugby Club with plenty of time to spare, before registration opened, and so we were able to use the WCs before most people arrived, and watched the end of the rugby:

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As soon as we were able to, we signed our disclaimer forms and collected our bibs:

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And then soaked up the atmosphere. We had our photos taken with quite a few of the other runners: these are a couple from the ZNR FaceBook Page:

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I wore my base layer compression top, and long running tights with my Nike LunarFly GTX trainers. I don’t have a pre-race gear check pic 😦

The facilities at the start/finish were good, with runners having full access to the changing and shower facilities. if I knew then how much these were needed…… more of that later! There was music playing, and the runners, both zombies and survivors, were milling about, chatting and taking photos. There was a mix of runners who were, and weren’t wearing fancy dress.

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The race was due to start at 5.30pm, but we were told that there would be a short delay. At around 5.45, we were asked to enter an enclosed area for the pre-race briefing and warm up. As the ground was a little marshy, people (us included) were trying to find dry-ish areas. Turns out that was just daft!

The ‘survivors’ were then asked to head to the start line, and they headed off, with a five minute head start. Each survivor had a belt with two ‘life tags’, and the zombies were supposed to chase down the survivors, and take a life tag. After what seemed like forever, we were allowed to go; and we entered the forest in a cloud of dry ice- very atmospheric!

After only a couple of minutes, we were towards the back of the pack, but those in front of us took a wrong turn, and before we knew it we were leading the zombies! Of course, this only lasted for a few minutes, before we were swiftly overtaken!

The rain had just started as we began running, and the grass was wet and slippery. The light was beginning to fade, and I realised that this was going to be great fun! We reached our first obstacle, and had to crawl under a bridge, into a river, under a cargo net and up the muddy riverbank. Only then did I remember that I had my iPhone in my waistpack, and I was soaked through! Fortunately, my phone was OK!

So, even in the first kilometre my feet were squelching and I was dripping wet. We ran up a farm track, in the mud, where we were joined by a cow on the path! At the top of the muddy track was a large bog which we had to cross, and I managed to get my left leg well and truly stuck- fortunately I was able to drag myself out, and the next part of the race was through the dark forest, which was really, very muddy.

Some parts of the course were in complete darkness. Other parts of the race were lit with glow sticks, or had strobe lighting. It was slow going, but so much fun. On more than one occasion, I found myself hugging trees for dear life!

The marshals were excellent, they were very supportive and really encouraged us to keep going and kept us in character!

There were two water stops on course, with jelly babies at both, which was ideal, as much of the ‘race’ was walking, or wading through mud!

Towards the end of the run, I was able to pick up some speed, and run along a forest track road. Despite the squelching and the mud, I managed an OK pace! At around this time, the rain started to fall, really heavily, which didn’t help with visibility or the conditions; but added to the atmosphere.

At the last kilometre, we had to wade through a burn, which was icy cold. I couldn’t stop smiling! And there was one final surprise in store- a series of hay bales to climb over and cargo nets to clamber under. Fortunately, @TheWelshWookie was able to give me a shove over the hay bales: I’ll really need to work on my upper body strength! Finally, we crossed the finish line.

I’m happy to report that we finished ahead of several survivors, even though we didn’t get any life tags.

We then had to give our numbers, to make sure that all runners made it across the finish line!; and we were given our goody bags. We then grabbed our dry clothing and headed to the clubhouse to change.

Here’s the map of the race:

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The goody bag was OK: a biscuit, a snack bar, a Buff sticker and tattoo and a bottle of water:

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There as an after-run party which I’m sure was fantastic. We had planned on going, but I had a baby shower to go to and so we couldn’t stay for the party. Maybe next year!

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I have two bruised and scraped knees, but I survived!

Here’s a short video clip:

My Stats:

Time: 1:35:42, but I came up a little short on distance.

The Medal: There was no medal, though I was sure that the website did originally say there was going to be one. Maybe I dreamed that.

Goody Bag: a paper bag which was sodden in seconds, with a biscuit, a snack bar, a bottle of water and a Buff tattoo and sticker.

T-shirt: a black technical T shirt. The design is good, but it was only available in men’s large, which was a little disappointing.

This run was a little on the expensive side, given that there was no medal or choice of t shirt size, but brilliant fun.

There are some great pics on Dougie Coull’s Website you should check them out!

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