PITTSBURG — Officials predict that the dead will rise October 28 in Lincoln Park — as part of the Second Annual Zombie Survival 5k run hosted by Pittsburg Parks and Recreation.
The Zombie Survival 5k is no ordinary run. Participants will be fitted with a belt holding three “life” flags, and have to dodge “zombies” along the 5k path. The zombies are volunteers from Pittsburg High School and Pittsburg State University — including mostly ROTC and Health, Human Performance and Recreation students.
The goal will be to make it through the entire Lincoln Park course with at least one flag intact, but even those who succumb to the zombies will be rewarded. Every person who runs will receive a finisher medal.
“Everyone who runs — even if they lose all their flags — gets a medal,” Recreation Superintendent Sara Vacca said. “This year the medals are really cool and look like a zombie is eating the medal.”
While the goal is to evade zombies throughout the course, Vacca said people interested in participating shouldn’t have to worry if they don’t want to run the entire 5k.
“No one has to run the entire time,” she said. “You only have to run when a zombie jumps out and is chasing you.”
Last year, the zombie run took place at Wilderness Park, but Vacca said PPRD wanted to move it inside the city to increase visibility for those who want to spectate or volunteer. While Wilderness Park had woods and trails, Vacca said this year will have some interesting twists.
“The route is going to take them all over Lincoln Park,” she said. “And because of that, we’ll have some themed zombies. We plan to have lifeguard zombies at the aquatic center, baseball player zombies at the ball fields and more.”
Registration is currently open for the Zombie Survival Run 5k. More information and online registration can be found at www.outbreakatwilderness.com. Registration can also be done over the phone at 620-231-8310, or in person at the PPRD office.
The run will have two divisions — youth and adult — and children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. The first 75 people to register will receive a t-shirt.
Entry is $20 for youth runners, $30 for adults. Late registration — October 23 to 28) will increase the price by five dollars. Registration begins at 9:15 a.m. October 28 and the race begins at 11 a.m.
All proceeds from the race will be used to continue improvements at Schlanger Park.
“The basketball and pickleball courts were just done,” Vacca said. “Our budget for Schlanger Park is simply for maintenance, not improvements, so the money from events like the zombie run help us continue those improvements.”
PPRD has also hidden several zombie rocks at Schlanger and Lincoln parks. The rocks are good for up to a 25 percent discount on registration to the run, and Vacca said as of Thursday, only one had been found.
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.