Saturday, February 25, 2012

Run For Your Lives! It's a Zombie 5K!

Today's post at And Now a Word From Our Sponsors comes courtesy of my friend, Thom.  Yes, Thom spells his name like Thom Yorke from Radiohead, so I've always liked Thom.  Having Thom as a friend makes me feel like I'm friends with a rock star.  But Thom Yorke, if you're out there reading, I'd love to be your friend, too.

P.S. I'm a huge Radiohead fan.

Back to today's topic... Last week Thom suggested I write about this commercial.  You see, Thom is a freak.  Thom likes to be super healthy.  Once, Thom told me about a new diet he was trying where he had to eat like a caveman.  He basically survived on nuts and berries. I thought Thom was insane.  Thom also likes to run. But not like normal people run.  When Thom runs, its through crazy obstacles courses like this one called "Muddy Buddy." In Muddy Buddy races, you and a partner run a bunch of miles through a bunch of obstacles and finish in a giant mud pit.  Romantically, Thom did this race with his wife.

So, knowing Thom is clinically insane and likes to do things that I would consider to be torture, when I first heard of "Run For Your Lives," I immediately went to Thom.  Another fun fact, Thom is obsessed with zombies in a way that I have never known another human to be obsessed with a thing.  Okay, I might be overstating it, but only just. If you haven't encountered it, Run For Your Lives is a 5K where you are pursued by zombies.  Some zombies run.  Some of the zombies stumble around confused.  But all of them want to eat your brains.  The runners wear flags (like in flag football) that represent their health.  The zombies try to grab them off of you. In order to fully qualify for awards and prizes, you have to complete all the obstacles and still have a health flag on you when you cross the finish line. The website warns you to run smart, or else you can turn this 5K race into a 10K.  

Little did I know that this fun, rather underground event created a television commercial that ran before the premiere of AMC's The Walking Dead.

I've never watched the show, but know that it's about a zombie apocalypse--clearly a great place to advertise for a zombie 5K.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, I present to you "Run For Your Lives!"

Fun, right?  No.  Terrifying. Frankly, I'm not a runner, so this isn't for me.  But if they ever put on a race in Brooklyn, I will totally volunteer to be a stumbling (read: not running) zombie. I can imagine "The Most Interesting Man in the World" participating and saying, "I don't run often, but when I do, I run from flesh eating zombie hordes."

Too bad the lady didn't make it. The best part of the commercial is that great zombie look they manage to accomplish. The highlight of the commercial is the zombie-man who takes down the runner lady, when he peers at the camera with those white-out contacts.  That piercing glare is perfect. The zombie-man looks a little like The Joker in this still shot, right.  It's not a bad look for a zombie, but maybe he needs a touch more soullessness.

Runners talk about a phenomenon called a "runner's high." Supposedly, it happens mid-run when your body releases endorphins to help your body deal with the running. I can only imagine the adrenaline rush that comes from being chased by a gang of zombies. The ending shots with the entire zombie universe converging on our hero as he sprints toward the finish is thrilling. The commercial captures the spirit of the event- the fear, the adrenaline and the triumph.

I'd be happier if this was part of a series of commercials.  I'd like to see more clips of people running from zombies.  I mean, AMC has been able to make a whole TV series out of it.  Sadly, it appears it's not in the "Run For Your Lives" budget... maybe next year. I'm sure they don't want to give away too much of the race's surprises and obstacles, but there are so many fun things you can do with this premise. More zombies please?

For any of you out there who are debating signing up for a run after reading this, you should know that each run ends with a zombie apocalypse party.  Yup, that's enough to get me on board. As a stumbling zombie, at least.

The Ratings:
Appeal: B+
Effectiveness: B+
Longevity: B-



  1. This Thom guy sounds awesome! Great post and great idea for a race. I bet everyone runs faster knowing someone is tryin to eat their brains. So if anything it should be a blast and improve everyone's 5k time.

  2. They did a series of commercials for the Baltimore race in 2011. Check them out on their YouTube channel:RFYL -Zombie Apocalypse Film, RFYL2 - Zombie Apocalypse Film Sequel and Choose Wisely.