Event: Run For Your Lives
Venue: MAEPS, Serdang, Selangor
Date: 13 December 2014
For the first time in Malaysia, RFYL made its debut at Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang ( MAEPS) on an overcast & sometimes drizzly Saturday. The idea was for Survivors to run a 5km course and avoid being captured by the blood-thirsty Zombies. Each participant were given 3 lives which were symbolised by 3 red bands strapped around their waist. The mission was to make your way to the Safe House, passing through 10 waves of Zombie attack, without losing all of your lives in order to receive a Survivor Medal. Those who lost all 3 of their lives and were deemed INFECTED were given a Zombie Medal instead.
My Survivor Team, comprising of Julie, Maryati & myself, were scheduled to run in the 4:30pm wave. None of us had a clue what to expect, but we soon got into the mood when we arrived at the venue, and saw many terrifying-looking Zombies casually walking around the grounds. Apart from their disguise, the Zombies were behaving quite normal; chatting & posing for photos.
At the starting pen, we were told that 2 of the Zombie obstacles had to be canceled because of the slippery conditions which posed an unacceptable risk to the participants. We were also informed by the MC that we should not kick or push the Zombies as some of them were injured during the earlier waves. Our start was delayed for a few minutes to allow the drizzle to stop. When the start horn blared, we ran out of the gates heading apprehensively to some unknown destination. 500 metre down the road, we saw a field with 100 ugly-looking Zombies and one of them was my mate, Victor who by the end of the day would have claimed a total of 24 lives. We had to jump across several rows of tyres, and run through the Zombies at a frantic pace. Many Survivors including myself had lost atleast one life at this first obstacle, and we scratched our heads as we wondered how on earth could we survive another 7 waves of these kind of brutal Zombie attacks! While catching our breaths, we walked towards the next obstacle 500m away. By this time, my friend David, from the wave after us, with his children, Felicity and Keiren had caught-up with us. David had lost all his 3 lives, so I gave him one of mine to keep his spirits up. As a group of Survivors, we knew we had to work together as a team to survive the merciless onslaught of never-ending Zombie attacks. Our strategy was to charge the Zombies in a group to create confusion. While the weaker runners ran behind the stronger ones for protection.
Like any good thrill ride, we felt happy and calm as we walked through the beautiful green surroundings towards the next obstacle. However, as soon as we faced the next obstacle, our hearts started beating faster and we would put on our determined game-face to show the Zombies that we meant business. Julie remarked that the course was like a runner’s fartlek training, alternating between running fast to build cardiovascular & slowing down to recover, etc. My wife, Maryati, said that she never had to run so fast in her life before because the chasing Zombies gave her plenty of motivation to do so. As for me, the course was like an interval training; alternating between doing a high-intensity workout, followed by a short rest period before the next gruelling set. As we slowly started making sense of our predicament, we could face each challenge with increasing confidence. At the start, we were collectively thinking, “I don’t get this!”. Halfway through the challenge, our minds were saying, “now, I fully understand my mission, what can I do to complete the task in one piece?”.
We were fortunate that the recent rain had resulted in cooling-down the temperature, and a drink station of Revive at midway did wonders to quench our thirst. I was impressed by the life-like Zombie make-up and the wide array of Zombie costumes such as Nurse, Doctor, Kampung, Santa Claus Zombies plus many more types.
Our wave had a lucky mascot who we called Sunflower for obvious reasons. Sunflower would volunteer to lead our charge, and he was really effective in providing distraction for the Zombies as we zig-zagged through the massive groups of Zombies. Sunflower became our symbol for hope of survival.
By the time we reached our last obstacle, we did not feel like a lone Survivor, but rather, we felt part of a group because we had faced the challenges together. It was easier for us to work together as a team to defeat the Zombies, and much more fun too. When we crossed the finish line safely, we felt a sense of accomplishment, camaraderie and elation. For keepsake, we were given our medals of achievement, a cool T-Shirt, a sling-bag and a bottle of perfume to make the end of our journey.
After the Apocalyptic Run, the Survivors and Zombies mingled, ate and visited the sponsors booth.
For those who are looking for an exhilarating day out with your family and friends, I can recommend you join this event for an experience of a lifetime. Let me take this opportunity, to thank the event organiser, sponsors and volunteers for putting together a brilliant show. I, for one, cannot wait for the next INFESTATION TO BEGIN!