Brave Runners Face-Off Blood-Sucking Zombies at RFYL 2016

Brave Runners Face-Off Blood-Sucking Zombies at RFYL 2016

Photo by Chin Wei Pin

Event Review by Gus Ghani

Event | Run For Your Lives Malaysia👻

🌿Venue | Taman Botani Negara, Shah Alam

🕡Date | 31st December 2016

🌊Wave Start | 6:30pm onwards

🏃Total Participants | 10k

👷Organiser | Monkey Theory🐒

Editor’s Note

While most normal people were celebrating New Year’s Eve by fine-dining, partying and watching spectacular fireworks displays to usher in the New Year, my wife Maryati and I opted to spend the twilight hours of 2016 being chased by mobs of vicious Zombies who were intent on eating us alive!

Thankfully, however, this frightening scenario was just part of a thrilling running game called Run For Your Lives (RFYL) which was organised by event company, Monkey Theory for the 7,000 online registrants who were looking for an extraordinary and action-packed evening.

Surviving The Apocalypse

The objective of this reality game was to run a 5 kilometre loop through Taman Botani Negara Shah Alam and at the same time, avoid being caught by the hundreds of blood-soaked Zombies awaiting at several undisclosed points called Zombie Infection Zone. At the start, each participant had 3 red plastic strips strapped to their waist which represented 3 Lives. If the Zombies remove all 3 strips, then you have failed to complete your mission. You must finish the run with at least one live still intact to earn the finisher medal and the title of Survivor.

The Living Dead

Your enemy are the hideous-looking Zombies whose sole mission is to ‘kill off’ the participants by removing their 3 lives before they cross the finish line and reach back to the designated Human Safe Zone.

For those 2,000 Participants who registered as Zombies, they were given a thorough Zombie make-over at the event venue by professional makeup artists from the event co-sponsor Aery Jo. I was surprised that a company who were used to making people look beautiful did such a convincing job making the Zombies look scary as hell.

Photo by Chin Wei Pin

My running buddy, Chin Wei Pin, had jumped at this rare opportunity to be able to transform himself into a Zombie character. In fact, the makeup looked so real, that Chin said, “When I posted my bloodied Zombie face photo on Facebook, my Uncle phoned me immediately, because he had thought that I was involved in an accident!”

Running Scared

The thousands of excited runners were flagged-off in several waves under the cover of darkness. Even though we knew that the Zombies were only play-acting, our hearts were still beating fast at the prospect of coming face-to-face with these monsters. It didn’t take long for us to reach the first Infection Zone where a group of Zombies were standing in our way. We ran fast, like our lives depended on it. There were loud screams of panic as the Zombies tried to grab the runner’s lifeline. Fortunately, the Zombies were not allowed to leave the Infection Zone. Once we passed the danger zone, we checked to see if we had lost any lives during the skirmish. The lesser our lifelines, the more desperate we felt.

There were a total of six Infection Zones spread-out over the course, and in addition, we had to endure, crawl under or climb over 4 different obstacles – Crawl Fence, Smokehouse, Ladder and Last Fence.

To keep us in the role-playing mode, we had to walk through the blood-chilling Slaughter House, the creepy Living Room, and the ghastly Slaves Vault. It is here that the hideous screams from the nervous runners were the loudest whenever a Zombie was spotted or heard lurking in the darkness.

The whole setting in the dark jungle was creepy, and the fear of being caught by a Zombie kept us constantly on our toes.

We Can All Be Heroes

Unfortunately, some Runners had losttripped and fell in their desperate attempt to evade capture. Similarly, some Zombies were injured too when they were shoved aside by Runners who had charged at them like a raging bull. These minor mishaps could have been avoided if the safety advice of the Course Marshals was followed.

Interestingly enough, it was our primordial fear of getting caught which forced us to form alliances with the other participants in order to form a formidable group against the brainless Zombies and survive our ordeal. By helping each other, we were able to successfully beat the Zombies and return back to the Safe House in one piece.

Alas, it was great fun pretending to be a hero, battling against evil and saving mankind from the threat of extinction. It was a chance for us to escape our comparatively mundane lives, and act out our fantasy. It was not a hard act to follow because, after all, we have watched and admired our heroes on television and in the movies all our lives.

Dropping The Beat

After Maryati and I returned triumphantly to the place where we first started our night’s escapade, the crowd was grooving to DJ Nikki spinning some hot dance tracks. There was also a hype dance performance by an electrifying K-Pop Troupe.

The party was set to last all night. However, it was way past my bedtime, and so, Maryati and I left the swinging party before midnight. Before we left the scene, we did rewound the clock briefly to the days of our youth, and busted some funky dance moves which weren’t too embarrassing, thankfully!

Herculean Effort

The Organiser, the Sponsors, their Event Partners, and the Volunteers had worked incredibly hard to stage for the 10,000-strong crowd a highly entertaining and most interactive Running Game in town, as well as set-up a lively After-Party with professional entertainers in a fun-filled carnival atmosphere where food and drinks are conveniently provided by several food trucks. I really appreciated all their combined creative efforts.

Wait For Our Lives

Yes, there were some administrative, organisational and technical flaws such as :-

1) The extreme long queues and waiting time of 2 hours to register and collect our entry wristbands had led to unfortunate delays in the flag-off times.

2) There were no water distributed to rehydrate the Runners except for a sweet caffeine-boosting energy drink called Ranger. To make matters worse, we were not allowed to bring our own drinking bottles into the event venue which forced us to buy our drinks from the food trucks vendors.

3) The concrete paths were too narrow for the big crowd which led to some nasty collision between the Zombies and the Survivors.

Cult Status

It is evident from the huge turnout in 2015 and 2016, there are many fans of Horror, Zombies, as well as those who just like to be scared senseless. So, for the sake of weirdos like me who are fascinated by urban legends and  supernatural myths, I hope that the Event Owner will outdo themselves in the 3rd installment of Run For Your Lives in 2017…

🎥Watch Live Action Of RFYL 2016 In Full Technicolor!!


To the best of my knowledge, all of the information provided herein is accurate at the time of publishing and the views expressed are based on my own personal opinions and findings, and they don’t necessarily reflect the views of the Product Manufacturer, Event Organiser or any Third Party unless explicitly specified otherwise.

About The Author

Gus is the Founder of Running Toons and a HIIT Fitness Coach. As a freelance WRITER, he has contributed numerous insightful articles to The Star newspaper, Running Malaysia magazine, Cycling Malaysia magazine, Cycling Evolution magazine, Swim Bike Run magazine and more. LIKE Happy Runner for RUNNING UPDATES, Gus Rider for CYCLING NEWS, Gus Ghani for SPORTS INFOTAINMENT and FOLLOW gusghani @IG for LIFESTYLE.

About Gus Ghani

Hi:) My name is Gus and I am a Fitness Coach who enjoys outdoor adventures. In particular, I like to run marathons & ultra marathons, and compete in triathlons and century rides for fitness, fun & friendship. My passion is to motivate my friends to exercise more so that they can live life to the fullest. The purpose of this blog is five-fold:- 1) I find writing very therapeutic & beats paying for a psychiatrist to keep sane 2) I like to share & inspire others into engaging in any healthy pursuits 3) This is a great way to keep track of my progress in all my sporting endeavours 4) This also keeps me honest & spurs me on to do more 5) Even if you are a couch potatoe, I hope you will find my entries entertaining and/or informative. In summary, this blog is helping me help others help myself...get it?
This entry was posted in 2016, 5km, Casio Exilim Malaysia, Costume, December, Event, Event Organiser, Fun Run, Happy Runner, Media, Review, Selangor, Shah Alam, Video and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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