Run For Your Lives (RFYL) is a 5K obstacle course race series created by Reed Street Productions (RSP). Like other obstacle races, participants are running against the clock and through physically challenging obstacles. Unlike other obstacle races, runners try to dodge and escape from zombies roaming the course trying to grab flags from runners' flagbelts, similar to flag football. The course was designed to incorporate zombies as well as SERE training learned by a RSP managing-member who is active-duty navy. The inaugural race had about 10,000 attendees and was covered by multiple news sources.
The event is billed as training for when the real zombie apocalypse comes. During and after the race, people attend the Apocalypse Party which has live music, beer, food, vendors, and free games. Each participant is individually timed and broken into 9 competitive age divisions. Costumes, team uniforms, and zombie make-up are highly encouraged at the event and add to the lighthearted atmosphere.
Reed Street Productions, the creators of Run For Your Lives, was formed in 2011, with RFYL currently being the sole event the company produces. The initial purpose of the race was to have a small event to help improve awareness of the sponsor Warwear. However, the race gathered a lot of interest forcing RSP to expand the event and eventually take it to other cities in 2012. The first RFYL event took place in Baltimore, MD on October 22, 2011. Over 10,000 runners registered, and over 11,000 people came to experience the zombie apocalypse
RFYL courses are typically 5K in length, although each course varies by location and trail layout. Trails are mostly through wooded areas with some open fields and water barriers depending on location. Each race has around 12 man-made and natural obstacles that runners must overcome. The creators of the race do not reveal the obstacles as to keep the course a secret, but obstacles typically involve climbing, ducking, crawling, diving, and sometimes swimming.
RFYL courses also have multiple paths to the finish line. The Run For Your Lives website states, "There will be a start line, and a finish line, but what happens in between is up to you." Some routes are dead ends, and others may take longer or have more zombies in the area. There are also health packs on the course which runners can find to ensure their survival at the finish line.
Anyone can sign up to be a zombie. Each zombie is professionally made-up and supplied with wardrobe, although many come in their own costumes. Zombies chase after runners and try to grab flags off of runners' flagbelts. The creators of the race do not release how many zombies are on the course to keep the course a secret.
During and after the race, participants and spectators attend the Apocalypse Party. Multiple food and beer vendors are at the event as well as vendors selling different types of merchandise. Close to fifteen local and touring bands and artists play live music throughout the day and night. The Apocalypse Party also has free games for kids and adults to play. The American Red Cross is partnered with Run For Your Lives and collects part of the proceeds from ticket sales. They are also at the event collecting more donations and helping run some of the games. Awards are also given out to the top three males and females in each age divison at an awards ceremony. Camping is also available at Run For Your Lives events.
|Baltimore||Camp Ramblewood||October 22, 2011|
|Atlanta||Durhamtown Plantation Sports Complex||March 3, 2012|
|Boston||Amesbury Sports Park||May 5, 2012|
|Minneapolis||Spring Creek Motorcross||June 2, 2012|
|Indianaplis||Boondocks Farms||June 23, 2012|
|Denver||Thunder Valley Motorcross||July 14, 2012|
|Seattle/Portland||Burntridge MX Park||August 4, 2012|
|Pittsburgh||Switchback Raceway||September 1, 2012|
|San Diego/ Los Angeles||Vail Lake Village||October 20, 2012|
|Baltimore||Camp Ramblewood||October 27, 2012|
|Austin||Rusty's Walnut Creek Ranch||December 15, 2012|
- ^ "To Get A Better Workout, Train With Zombies" Oprah.com. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
- ^ "Zombies Infect Obstacle Course" CNN Money. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
- ^ a b c "Dodging Zombies, Clowns in 5K" ESPN.com. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
- ^ "Run For Your Lives | What You Get Run For Your Lives. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
- ^ Run For Your Lives | Awards Run For Your Lives. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
- ^ "The Zombies Are Coming! Run For Your Life!" Austin Post. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
- ^ "I Believe in Zombies" Cross Fit Journal. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
- ^ a b c Run For Your Lives | How It Works Run For Your Lives. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
- ^ Run For Your Lives | Zombies Run For Your Lives. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
- ^ Run For Your Lives | Party Run For Your Lives. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
- ^ Run For Your Lives | Entertainment Run For Your Lives. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
- ^ "Zombies to invade Ramblewood in Darlington Oct 22." Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2012-01-05