Zom­bies to in­vade Falls camp­ground

The Welland Tribune - - OPINION - Rspi­teri@postmedia.com

RAY SPITERI

About 500 peo­ple will try and sur­vive a 21-ob­sta­cle course in Niagara Falls this week­end.

Sur­vive, be­cause they will hunted down by at least 50 zom­bies.

The fourth an­nual Zom­bie Mud Run re­turns to Cam­park Re­sorts on Lundy’s Lane Satur­day.

Start­ing at 8:30 a.m., par­tic­i­pants will nav­i­gate a five-kilo­me­tre muddy ob­sta­cle course, all the while try­ing to avoid a horde of walk­ers try­ing to take away their life­lines.

“It’s not a com­pet­i­tive race, it’s more like a fun run,” said Rhonda Van Kleef, man­ager of Cam­park Re­sorts.

When peo­ple regis­ter, they re­ceive a rac­ing bib and three life­lines on a belt, sim­i­lar to what’s seen in flag foot­ball.

“We have at least 50 zom­bies within the course — peo­ple that are just dressed up like zom­bies. We have makeup artists that do their makeup,” said Van Kleef.

“Their ob­jec­tive is to steal your flags. You need to be run­ning away from zom­bies, and con­quer­ing th­ese ob­sta­cles, and you are to fin­ish with at least one life­line left on your belt.

If you fin­ish with at least one life­line, you get a sur­vivor medal. If you have no life­lines left, you’re in­fected.”

She said they have also added colour to the course this year, as well as a foam ma­chine.

“Foam will be ev­ery­where, so you kind of get cleaned off to­wards the end. We have foam and colour and mud, all the ingredients for the per­fect fun run.”

Van Kleef said in ad­di­tion to hav­ing Haunt Manor on the prop­erty ev­ery Hal­loween sea­son, they no­ticed how pop­u­lar zom­bie runs have been in the United States.

She said while there are colour runs in Canada and other dashes that seemed to in­tim­i­date peo­ple, they didn’t find any ex­am­ples of an event that “in­cor­po­rated all of th­ese ob­sta­cles and all the fun stuff.”

That’s why, said Van Kleef, Cam­park Re­sorts cre­ated the Zom­bie Mud Run a few years ago.

“We try to cre­ate like a team at­mo­sp­shere, and you don’t have to run it, you can walk it. Some­times we have peo­ple that get in­fected, and they’re com­ing back … and they want that sur­vivor medal.” She said par­tic­i­pants “just love it.” Some, though, have stopped in the mid­dle of the event, so scared of the zom­bies, they’ve left, said Van Kleef.

“It’s just like a per­sonal fear thing of be­ing chased. But usu­ally they’re ex­hil­a­rated. It’s ex­cit­ing be­cause you think you’re so phys­i­cally fit that you could do th­ese ob­sta­cles, but it’s not about that, it’s about keep­ing your life­lines.”

She said par­tic­i­pants can also buy an ex­tra life­line for $10 cash, with 100 per cent of the pro­ceeds go­ing to­wards the Crohns and Coli­tis Foun­da­tion.

Van Kleef said peo­ple can still regis­ter prior to the event, by vis­it­ing Zom­bie Mud Run Canada on Face­book, or zom­biemu­drun­canada.com.

They can also regis­ter the day of the event, cash only, but tick­ets are lim­ited and are run­ning out.

JOHN LAW/NIAGARA FALLS RE­VIEW/POSTMEDIA NEWS FILE PHOTO

If the mud didn’t get you, the un­dead did. The Cam­park Re­sorts camp­ground on Lundy’s Lane held its first 5K Zom­bie Mud Run in Septem­ber 2014, and Adam Martin (left) and Jay Collins kept things in­ter­est­ing.

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