Zombie-themed 5K to occur in SanduskyWritten by Paige Shermis | | email@example.com
Brave runners will have a chance to race with the undead at the Lake Eerie Zombie Mud Run 5K.
The race, put on by Ghostly Manor Thrill Center, will take place Sept. 14 at the East Sandusky Bay Erie Metropark. Individuals can sign up as runners, zombies, volunteers or simply view the race as spectators.
The structure of the race is built around three flags each runner will have tied to a belt. The object of the 5K is to make it through the course without zombies snatching all three. If one loses all of their flags, they are considered to be among the Infected, said Billy Criscione, director of operations at Ghostly Manor.
Aside from the zombie population roaming the course, the race also boasts several obstacles, most of which involve getting down and dirty in the mud. Runners can pass on completing an obstacle, but must surrender their flag.
Runners who have lost all their flags have the option to go to one of two Vaccination Stations, in which they complete a special obstacle for another flag.
There is a 15-foot “safe zone” around each Vaccination Station and a 20-square-foot “safe zone” around each obstacle, so runners may visit these areas unhindered by chasing zombies.
Criscione has a personal connection to the genesis of this year’s mud run.
“My mom actually had the idea a couple of years ago to do a zombie mud run — she’d heard [online] about it. Last year, there was a major expansion at Ghostly Manor, so we didn’t do one then, but we went to one in Waukesha,Wis. called the Wisconsin Zombie Mud Run,” Criscione said.
This inaugural mud run has been 7-8 months in the making, Criscione said. He and the other event planners are hoping for a couple thousand runners to race.
The park has helped with planning a trail, Criscione said.
“Basically, we are providing the land, the space for the event. The organization that we’ll partner for this is doing all the grunt work. It’s been a really good opportunity for us to get involved with something new in the area,” said Beki Catri, marketing and volunteer coordinator at Sandusky Metroparks.
The Sandusky Metroparks system will host two other 5K runs this year: Run the Rock at Castallia Quarry Metropark on Sept. 8, and Run Like an Animal at Osborn Metropark in early October.
Following the race, there will be an after party with beverages and live music, Criscione said.
Registration is only $45 for runners who sign up online before June 30. Race day registration begins on 8 a.m. the day of the race. The first wave of runners will take the course at 9 a.m., with a subsequent wave, or “outbreak,” occurring every half an hour until 2:30 p.m.
“If there are thousands of runners at one time, it will be too crowded out there. Spread out, the zombies will have a better chance of getting a flag from the runners and it will be more fun,” Criscione said.
Zombie registration is $35, spectator preregistration is $10 and spectator day-of registration is $20.
“Spectators are paying for entertainment. We are hiring a band and having a DJ. They will also be bussed throughout the course so they can be shown different obstacles, different points that zombies will be attacking,” Criscione said.
All participants in the mud run must be 14 years old by race day. Costumes and teamwork are encouraged.
“Some of the money earned will go back into the race to make it bigger and better next year,” Criscione said.
For a full list of pricing, race rules and recommendations, and other information, visit lakeeeriezombiemudrun.com.
East Sandusky Bay Erie Metropark is located at 3401 Cleveland Road in Sandusky.