MP shaping up for race against horde of zombies
That's because he doesn't want to be turned into a zombie. No, it's not the zombie apocalypse, but it does include a zombie horde hungry for brains. Not literally, though. It's the Run For Your Lives Zombie five-km race, where Thibeault will join thousands of other runners in navigating a series of challenging obstacles throughout a course in an attempt to reach the finish line — all while avoiding zombies.
Racers, wearing a flag football-like belt with three flags, must make strategic choices to find the quickest route to the finish line with at least one flag to complete the race as a survivor, according to the race's website at runforyourlives.com. Flags are life, and if the zombies manage to grab all of a racer's flags, they become a zombie. Racers can still finish the race, but they don't get an official time and will not be eligible for awards. If a racer doesn't finish one of the obstacles, they can also still finish the race, but again they wouldn't get an official time.
“My plan is not to become a zombie,” Thibeault said. “We're running from zombies; what better way to motivate you to run.”
The NDP MP said he and his wife have taken up running in an effort to “live a more active lifestyle.” He has participated in the Miner's Mayhem here in Sudbury and the Warrior's Dash in Barrie. Now, he's training for the Orillia race, where he'll test his cardio training against the undead.
Thibeault said he is a fan of the zombie genre. He watches The Walking Dead, and his favourite zombie flick is Shaun of the Dead.
“It's a fun genre, but at the same time, this race is a fun thing to do to stay active,” he said.
Being active is key, as obstacles include mud, water and, perhaps, some blood. Racers will have to climb, crawl, duck and dive their way to the finish line.
Thibeault said he's shooting for a finish time between 35 and 45 minutes.
“I would be happy with that, but just to survive and not become a zombie would be good,” he said. “We're going to do the dusk run; it's in the fall, it'll be 4:30 p.m. and we're going to be running through the bush with zombies chasing after us — what could be creepier?”
The inaugural race launched in Darlington, Maryland, in October 2011 with more than 10,000 participants and spectators. This year, the zombie virus is spreading, and races are also scheduled for 10 U.S. Destinations, as well as Orillia.
“Even before we officially launched the first race in Darlington, we started planning to invade other popular cities,” Ryan Hogan, managing member of Reed Street Productions and co-creator of Run For Your Lives, said in a press release. “We’d received so much demand and interest from consumers in the U.S. and abroad that we knew we needed to expand. We learned a lot from our first race and are excited to bring the improved Run For Your Lives experience to zombie-enthusiasts and runners.”
Thibeault said he's getting in touch with buddies with whom he raced in the Warrior Dash and will try to make the zombie race an event, “and hopefully, we can have one here in Sudbury some day.”
Good news for the thousands of zombie fans in Greater Sudbury. For the past two years, zombie fanatics have taken to the streets in the annual Zombie Walk. Last year's event brought about 150 of the walking dead out from their holes. It's people like that who help fill the roles of zombies for the races.
Posted by Arron Pickard