Hey guys! Time for the rest of the race recap for Run For Your Lives! I left off right as we were starting to run. I’m going to be honest here, the run gets kind of blurry in parts, so I’m going to remember it the best I can! We took off in a group and it felt like FOREVER until we hit our first zombies (which was probably a good thing, since I was more focused on the muddy ground than my surroundings!!) but in all reality it was probably only a tenth of a mile!
We came across some huge hay bales, and at first I just started to run beside them, but ran into a zombie, so I panicked and climbed up onto the hay bales! I t was crazy! We passed the hay bales and a few more zombies and re-grouped. We ran into another group of zombies (basically they were placed in a stagger on the trail) and we sprinted and twisted around them, all while trying to not fall on our faces! Shane and I got split up from Ellie and Ryan at this point, so we just kept going to the next obstacle.
Next we came up to two pools of water with huge logs going across them. You could climb over them, swim under them, or try to run on the mud between them. I ended up going over some, and between others, depending on where a zombie was placed. (I was trying to not go underwater…. little did I know.)
We made it through this, and regrouped with El and Ryan. Ellie had lost a flag by this point, but we were pretty much whole. Here is where it gets slightly fuzzy! We slowed down to basically a walk because the mud was so slick we were unable to move quickly without losing our footing. I lost my first flag RIGHT before the first water station and I was so disappointed! We stopped for a water break and by this time Ellie was infected!
We moved on, and right after the water station was another infected area, with about 10 zombies. The strategy was to run through in a group, and then scatter. Well, I started with a group, but one zombie was coming after me, so I doubled back and ended up with 5 zombies on one side, and five zombies on the other, and I was ALL ALONE. We all kind of stood there, and I let out a few expletives. Finally I decided to just sprint through, and while I was trying to evade a girl zombie, I fell.
I fell and busted my knee, and the girl walked up to me, knelt down (took a flag!) and asked if I was ok. I was trying to stand up, and I think I said yes, and started running again. The rest of the zombies made halfhearted attempts to capture me, but I think they just felt bad for me. I made it through with one flag left, and Shane was yelling “Are you ok?!” I wasn’t. My knee was busted up pretty badly, but I didn’t want to stop. So I kept going.
Next we came up to a very large puddle and Ellie kind of… face planted. Someone in our group shouted “You ok R2D2?!” (She was wearing a crocheted R2D2 beanie.) She was, and just jumped up and started running again (with much more grace than my fall, I might add!) and we were off again. We came to a rectangle pool of water about 3 ft deep we had to cross. That’s where I did my own face plant. I was expecting the depth of the pool, and kind of slipped/belly flopped into the pool. Whoops. It was like a shock to system because the water was SO. COLD. No zombies at this obstacle, but unfortunately there were some right before the second water station… and I became fully infected. So I made it right before the 2 mile mark.
By the time we got to the 2 mile mark my knee had swollen up to resemble an egg… but it wasn’t really hurting so much anymore. We did the rope ladder climb, this was the worst obstacle for me, because I’m not a big fan of heights and the rope was super muddy and slippery. So I took it a little slower than most, but made it through no problem.
The boys ended up running ahead since they needed to stay with the group to increase survival chances, but Ellie and I couldn’t run anymore. We came to a hill, and trying to climb the hill was an adventure. Think of it like this: take a Slip-N-Slide on a hill, cover it with dirt and KY Jelly and orange dye. Then try to run up it. That’s pretty much how slick this hill was. Even the zombies weren’t running after you, they just sort of reached. The mud was CRAZY!
Then we saw the lake. First thought in my head was: Alligators? Cottonmouths? It’s the Florida girl in me… what can I say! So I start to walk into the lake/pond/orange body of water and WHOOSH! Drop off into the coldest water I’ve ever been in. (Slight exaggeration, but that’s what it felt like at the time!) I lost my breath, and the only thing I could manage was a doggy paddle (and I’m a swimmer!!). Once I crawled out of the lake the first thing I said to Ellie was “There goes any idea of a polar plunge!”
Honestly though, I think the cold water shocked my system, because there was no pain for the rest of the race. We made it to the maze, which unfortunately some people before us had torn down part of it, so we didn’t get to experience it to it’s fullest, though Shane and Ryan did (they were pretty far ahead of us by now!). Major shout out to the zombie cat lady with the zombie cat! <3 <3
Then there was a wall to climb with a slide on the other side, landing in saw dust. Thankfully this was near the end, because sawdust and running do NOT go together! Major chafing! Then came the gauntlet. Basically a whole bunch of zombies. Ellie and booked it (or at least thought we did… Shane said he and Ryan were watching us, and we were walking. I think he’s crazy!) through them, and slid down the mudslide to the finish! Collected our medals and we were done. Here is a video (not mine!) I found on the RFYL Facebook page, it’s long, but it’s awesome!
[Just making sure you know, this is NOT my video, nor do I appear in it… though it might have been my wave, not sure. Here is the link to the video.]
Whew. I’m not done. <3
After collecting our medals there were showers provided, but alas, they ran out of water! So we just sucked it up, walked the very long and very cold walk back to the trucks to change. We got some pictures first! Sorry I look like a total jackass, I swear I don’t have to pee, I was SO COLD, and honestly just wanted to change!
We walked back to the Apocalypse Party hoping to find Iron E. Cummings and grab our free beer! We lucked out and ran right into him, he was super nice and totally cool about taking more than one photo! We forgot all about asking for autographs, not that we had anything for him to sign anyway!
Totally off topic, but I now have met and taken photos with TWO cast members of The Walking Dead! The other was with Norman Reedus (who plays the character Darryl) when he and the cast of The Boondock Saints 2 came to Africa on a USO tour for the Troops. He (and the rest of the cast) were absolutely wonderful, BTW. Super friendly and said such wonderful things in support of the military.
Back to RFYL! We got our beer, grabbed some food, but honestly… we were ready to go. We had already ruined two sets of clothes and shoes, and I really wanted to shower and take care of my knee. They had medical services on site, of course, but it wasn’t that serious, I just am dramatic and have a low pain threshold, haha.
We took a few more photos, like with this zombie we found strolling around.
We headed back to the hotel and showered and honestly… went to sleep. We were exhausted. Such an amazing day, though. I can’t wait to do it again next year, and I really want to look into (and may have already done so…) more obstacle like races.
I HIGHLY recommend this race. It’s fun, messy, and totally worth the bruises. I’m off to eat some BRAINSSSS now.
PS we finished in 1:17 and were a part of the 1 pm wave!