Ross Creek Zombie Apocalypse Run Forecasted

NZ Army To Serve Valiantly 'Til the End

The very existence of the 126,000 men, women, children and Scarfies in Dunedin is under threat; the Zombie apocalypse is on its way. 18 May will see the Walking Dead become the Running Dead in a five-kilometre obstacle course around Ross Creek Reserve designed to raise funds for the charity ChatBus, a free counselling service for primary and intermediate school children.

According to ChatBus fundraising manager Aaron Smith, the inspiration for the run comes from the popularity and success of international zombie runs. The participants of “Zombie Apocalypse” will flee their ravenous pursuers around the Reserve, ducking and diving around obstacles in a desperate attempt to outrun the infected zombie horde. “We’ve done the usual sausage sizzles, etc., but this is definitely the biggest thing we’ve organised so far,” states Smith. “There might be flats or families that want to enter together we think this kind of event appeals to all ages.”

The course will provide for 300 runners and 50 zombies, states Smith. During the Zombie Apocalypse, filthy flesh-eaters will attempt to take one of runners’ three “life-tags.” Runners who fail to guard their life-tags will still be allowed to finish the race, although have their time recorded under the “deceased.” Those nervous runners need not fear, assures Smith, “They will give chase but slowly! We want to make it a challenge for people, but obviously not too hard.”

The event banks on the popularity of apocalypse-themed blockbusters like World War Z, and the iPhone app Zombies, Run! – where the breathing of the undead serves as fitness motivation. The proceeds of the race will go directly to ChatBus, which will be used to employ a new trained counsellor and the purchase of a new bus. Founded in response to New Zealand’s high teen suicide rate, ChatBus aims to fundraise upwards of $10,000 for their cause. “The primary aim is fundraising but also to have a really fun day.”

Alongside the classic prizes for those first to finish, there will also be awards for best and worst dressed, zombies and runners alike. Members of the NZ Army will also be stationed around the track.

Individual and group prices and registration are available via the website For those looking to join the ranks of the undead, there is also an option to register as a zombie.
This article first appeared in Issue 6, 2014.
Posted 7:01pm Sunday 30th March 2014 by Emily Draper.