race report: arlington toyota kids fitness zombie chase {10.18.2015}

This was not a race I anticipated little man would want to do. He can be a little sensitive about gore and zombies certainly come with their share of the stuff.

At the Great Candy Run, one of the promoters of the Arlington Toyota Kids Fitness Zombie Chase mentioned the race to little man and showed him a video. He immediately deemed it something he wanted to do.


I figured he would change his mind or forget about it, but no such luck. So I registered him.

Usually, in these mile long kids’ races, parents are allowed to join their children at no cost, but for the Zombie Chase, no adults were allowed on the course without paying for the privilege. People could register as a “body guard” or as a “zombie”, but other than that, only kids were permitted to run. I explained to little man that he was in this one on his own (mostly because I would probably wet my pants if a zombie approached me).

We arrived at the race venue in plenty of time to get great parking and check out the vendor booths and activities. There were face painters doing zombie makeup (little man wasn’t interested), balloon artists and lots of great photo opportunities.

Little man was a little wary of the zombies (the makeup and costumes were absolutely on point), but he hung out until it was time to move to the corrals.

With their bibs and t-shirts, each child had received a set of numbered wristbands – one for him to wear and one for the parent who would be picking him up at the finish corral. Wristband colors were based on age groups: the 13-15 year olds would run the course first, followed by the 11-12 year olds, and so on, down to the 5-6 year olds. Little man got with his group to wait his turn. I took up position near the last turn by the finish line, while Mr PugRunner waited for him to start.

After the National Anthem, the zombies went out on to the closed course to take up their positions. Their job was to chase the kids and put “bites” (in the form of stickers) on their bibs. They were supposed to tone down their antics a little with each group of kids, and the kids had been given whistles that they could blow if they were getting scared or uncomfortable. It seemed a pretty good system and everyone was into it.

It took little man a little while to navigate the course. He went out of his way to avoid the zombies (running on sidewalks instead of through the thick of the undead), which was rather prudent of him, and I think he was pretty happy to be done with the whole thing.

He made it out without a single “bite.”

Mr PugRunner and I both made our way to the finish corral. A volunteer confirmed that Mr PugRunner had the matching wristband and we were able to to exit the area and get some water and breakfast.

If he does this run again next year, I think we will encourage him to wear a zombie costume for the occasion. Knowing him, it will make the experience a little more fun.

Another race well run by our little guy! He has two more events on his calendar for the year, and he is pretty stoked about them both.

Have you ever participated in a zombie chase?


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28 Responses to race report: arlington toyota kids fitness zombie chase {10.18.2015}

  1. Looks like a great time was had!
    John (Daddy Runs a Lot) recently posted…Where I look back over your last yearMy Profile

  2. Well I would avoid the zombies too! I like his strategy 🙂
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Birthday Week Races & Runs RecapMy Profile

  3. This is great! I love that they gave the kids a way to let the Zombies know if they were uncomfortable. Well thought out and executed it seems. It’s great that Little Man enjoys these runs. I hope he keeps with it as he grows up!
    I did a Zombie run a couple of years ago. It was at the day camp just around the corner from me (we actually share a tree line). I was not expecting how tough the terrain would be (it was a trail race) but it was a really fun experience. The zombies did a great job! Instead of stickers like the kids had, we were given flags to wear (like you’d see for flag football) and the zombies had to try and get them off us. If you managed to make it out with any flags left, you earned a medal and a twinkie. No flags, you earned… nothing. I was a little disappointed they didn’t have medals for everyone, but otherwise it was a fun event! I think they should have “survivor” medals for those with flags and “Zombified” medals for those without.
    Stacie Seidman recently posted…What’s Up Wednesday!My Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      It was really nice in how they handled the zombie/kid interactions. In the race instructions, they made it clear that the zombies needed to tone it down as the kids got younger, and to be aware of kids looking scared or upset. I appreciated that.

      If I’m running from a zombie, fake or otherwise, I better get a twinkie and a medal. And I don’t even like twinkies.

  4. I’ve never done a zombie chase…I’d be so scared but I think it would be a lot of fun! Your son did great – he had the right idea to avoid getting “bit”!
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted…Goals for Annapolis Half MarathonMy Profile

  5. Ivanna says:

    Very fun. I have never done a race like this I think my kids would freak out lol
    Ivanna recently posted…Workout With Me on Booya FitnessMy Profile

  6. Zombies are not my thing at all. I wouldn’t even want to be around this event. ha ha
    But good for him for making it through with no bites!
    Jen @ Pretty Little Grub recently posted…Las Vegas Expo & 5km RecapMy Profile

  7. Elle says:

    NO zombies for me either… but, hey, it may make me run faster. Glad your little guy had so much fun!
    Elle recently posted…Tommie Copper Contoured Compression Knee Sleeve Review and GiveawayMy Profile

  8. it sounds like it was really well run by the coordinators! and i like your son’s strategy; i am definitely not a zombie fan!
    brittney @ corral b recently posted…friday five: healthy holiday tipsMy Profile

  9. That’s interesting that they didn’t allow parents to run the race with their children without paying. But I do appreciate the safety wristband system in order to ensure that strangers don’t walk off with other people’s children!
    Kathryn @ Dancing to Running recently posted…Tips for Staying Healthy Over the Holidays (and a SmartyPants Giveaway!)My Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      It was a little odd, but the course did seem secure from what we witnessed, and they probably just wanted to make it a little more thrilling for the kids. The zombies wouldn’t stand a chance if all the moms and dads were there running interference. We were ok with it.

  10. Marcia says:

    Hilarious! I think your little man had a great strategy! I’ve never done a zombie chase!
    Marcia recently posted…Rock n Roll Vegas Race ReportMy Profile

  11. Glad he had fun! I’ve never done a zombie chase. I just don’t get the whole zombie thing…

    When my oldest was younger, we did a Santa run–we had to dress up in our Santa costumes and do a 5k. There were over 1000 Santas! It was fun. We had beards and everything.
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…CherishMy Profile

  12. such cute pics and looks like a fun race! my parents and I were recently watching a news segment on zombie races…kinda wanna do one now 🙂
    Patty @ Reach Your Peak recently posted…Fitness Gift Guide For Men (Apparel)My Profile

  13. Darlene says:

    what a great way to get kids into running. hope he keeps it up.
    Darlene recently posted…Thinking Out Loud Thursday: Races, Runs, Thanksgiving, etc.My Profile

  14. I love the way your son is getting out there and getting into racing. Such fun! the t-shirts for the race are awesome. I think the Zombies would have scared my kids a lot though!
    Sandra Laflamme recently posted…A year in words, a workout playlist, and training recapMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      A lot of kids didn’t even flinch, but there were plenty who were not at all amused by the situation. I think it’s one thing to see them in pics and on video and then get all up close and personal.

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