The Zombie Run, called “a cool event” by USA Today, likened to “the famous ‘War of the Worlds’ radio broadcast” by the New York Times, and featured on Anderson Cooper 360, is a 3.1 mile racecourse of gut-wrenching, blood-pumping, sweat-dripping fear that takes over Nashville on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 7:30 a.m.
Just selected as one of Philadelphia Magazine’s “favorite races,” The Zombie Run is not your typical hometown 5K run, unless of course, your hometown is infested with an army of marauding Zombies.
By using the popular Zombie theme, The Zombie Run creates a running narrative on a racecourse designed like a Hollywood Apocalypse movie-set, where participants either run through the course as Zombies, or living Zombie prey. Participants must run to safety, while dodging an imaginatively harrowing barrage of apocalyptic carnage.
Hollywood already has taken notice. The Zombie Run is currently the centerpiece to the first episode of reality star/runway model Adrianne Curry’s new ReelzChannel TV series, It’s All Geek to Me, currently enjoying repeat airings (check local listings). Yes, Adrianne flew cross country from L.A. to Philly to be made up as a Zombie and tape her show. In Atlanta, The Zombie Run hosted actors from AMC’s smash zombie super-series, “The Walking Dead.” And in St. Louis, retired New York Yankees World Series pitcher Bob Boehringer brought along his wife and son for some Zombie shenanigans. You just never know who will show up.
The Zombie Run team also has made live TV appearances on Fox Good Day (Philadelphia), ABC Good Morning New Orleans, the Fox 2 News at Noon (St. Louis), Colorado and Company (NBC Denver), the CW57-CBS3 Morning News (Philadelphia), and others, plus numerous radio shows across the country, from lively morning shows to NPR reports to the nationally syndicated Overnight America (CBS Radio) — in studio and on the scene. PBS’ Roadtrip Nation taped a segment in St. Louis, a Norwegian documentary unit crossed the Atlantic to see what we’re all about in New Orleans, and the National Geographic Channel will be featuring The Zombie Run in its new fall series, “How to Survive the End.” We’ve even had an NPR producer participate with his own “head cam,” who says in his video story: “it’s like being in a Zombie movie, without the post-apocalyptic despair.”
The Zombie Run is the only nationally touring Zombie race that takes over the actual streets of each city, and focuses on a fully scripted, suspense-filled back story.
Professional, on-site make-up artists transform normal, everyday, warm-blooded runners into blood sucking, flesh eating Zombies. If you survive, there is a party following the race. The Zombie Run benefits Active Heroes (www.activeheroes.org), a volunteer-led charity helping veterans, active duty military and their families.
The Zombie Run is the brainchild of college juniors Andrew Hudis, 20, and David Feinman, 21. Hudis attends the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, and Feinman is enrolled at Temple University’s Fox School of Business.
“Three years ago, I told David that I always run fastest when I’m being chased,” said Hudis. “We joked that we should start a race where actors chase the runners to the finish line. Eventually, we realized that our idea could actually be a fun race.”
Hudis contacted local haunted houses and asked if he and Feinman could stage a race on their hayride trails, but they all declined.
“We eventually held a Halloween-themed 5K in a local park called the Trick-or-Treat 5-Miler that was a ton of work and never made much money,” said Hudis. “But it was a fun project.”
Hudis and Feinman knew they were on to something and continued to work on their idea for two years. By 2012, they realized that taking a themed run on the road to multiple cities could be a good business.
“We thought about taking the Trick-or-Treat 5-Miler on the road and it eventually evolved in The Zombie Run,” Hudis said. “We wrote our whole business model over three meetings in local coffee shops and three months later we were permitted in five markets.”
What makes The Zombie Run so different than other racing events?
“Our race really focuses on story,” Hudis said. “Like a ride at Disney World, we create an alternate reality over an otherwise mundane experience. We focus a lot on runner experience, and spend the money that other races use on obstacles to enforce our theme and add more carnage to the racecourse.”
Hudis and Feinman have assembled a seasoned team of professionals with over 100 years of collective experience in race and concert promotion, and live event production and marketing, who will help them bring The Zombie Run to the following cities across America:
The Nashville Zombie Run — Nashville, TN — 9/29/13, 7:30am — Shelby Bottoms Park
The Indianapolis Zombie Run — Indianapolis, IN — 10/6/13, 11am — White River State Park
The Miami Zombie Run – Miami, FL-10/12/13, 6pm- Historic Virginia Key Beach Park
The Brooklyn Zombie Run – Brooklyn, NY — TBA
The Austin Zombie Run – Austin, TX — TBA
The San Francisco Zombie Run — San Francisco, CA — TBA
The San Diego Zombie Run — San Diego, CA — TBA
For The Zombie Run event tickets and information updates, visit http://www.thezombierun.com.