Zombie run a blood filled, brain-eating good time for participants
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Hordes of zombies swarmed Mount Pleasant on Friday at the Zombie Run, an event geared to bring Central Michigan University students downtown.
“We were trying to come up with an event to tell students downtown isn’t that far away,” said Kathy Hill, director of Art Reach and an organizer of the event. “It’s been a real learning process.”
Hill said they planned on 300 runners, as well as about 100 zombies making the course difficult for the survivors. Christine Donaldson, Miranda Madden and Austin Thomas were a part of the horde and had a blast chasing the survivors along Main Street.
“If I was a runner, I would have legitimately been scared of Austin,” said Madden, a junior from Brighton. “It was a lot of fun. I really liked being dead. It was a new experience for me. I’d definitely be a zombie again.”
The race started on the corner of Bellows and Main streets and continued to the new mosaic at the corner of Broadway and Main. If the survivors made it to the mosaic with at least one tag left, they were still alive. If they lost all their tags, they joined the undead.
Shannon Milliard | Staff Photographer Junior Christine Donaldson has a volunteer apply hairspray to knot and grease her hair for a convincing zombie look Friday evening.
Shannon Milliard | Staff Photographer Austin Thomas a Junior communications major from Plymouth channeled his inner zombie by watching the popular video "Zombie Kid Likes Turtles" that was featured as a web redemption on Tosh.0.
Shannon Milliard | Staff Photographer Brighton Junior Miranda Madden wins a brain eating contest hosted in the town center after the race Friday evening. The contest was against three other zombies to finish a dish of jello with gummy worms without using hands.
Shannon Milliard | Staff Photographer All runners got a look at 3-year-old Josh Pittsley's zombie side. Pittsley along with his father Pat captured an abundance of flags contributing to runners "not surviving the race" Friday evening in downtown Mt. Pleasant.
Shannon Milliard | Staff Photographer Mt. Plesasant Gilbert Rodriguez photo bombs Rachel Marzean. Rodriguez
Shannon Milliard | Staff Photographer Plymouth sophomore Austin Thomas stalks a runner Friday afternoon on the corner of Main and High street. As a zombie the goal of the race is to get as many flags as you can. Capturing a flag is equivalent to getting bitten in the "zombie world."
Shannon Milliard | Staff Photographer Birmingham Christine Donaldson a marketing student from drags her "dead zombie corpse" across the sidewalk next to High St. The street was closed for the race to create a "safe zone" for the runners, allowing them to catch their breath and make a game plan for the second half of the race.
Shannon Milliard | Staff Photographer Christine Donaldson, Miranda Madden and Austin Thomas get into character while they wait for the race to begin.
“All along for the seven blocks, there were zombies,” Hill said. “It was a great run.”
The city of Mount Pleasant assisted by blocking off the area for the course and keeping survivors safe from cars. Hill said they were fortunate to have the city so involved in the process.
“I think it’s huge of the city to sponsor this,” Hill said. “I like living in a community that supports events like this.”
Donaldson, a junior from Birmingham, said she enjoyed herself, despite falling at points because of getting too into her character.
“I really liked seeing all the zombies in position,” Donaldson said. “It was kind of terrifying to see them all just waiting.”
Thomas, a sophomore from Plymouth, was the most into the event, with fake blood and guts dripping off his face. He said he was going for the look of a “28 Days Later” zombie, one that sprints after the survivors and is terrifying.
“I’m out of breath,” Thomas said. “I sprinted at people. It was great.”
The group of three managed to get many of the tags from survivors as they ran by. The group was at the beginning of the danger zone, where survivors could be “attacked.”
Madden was also a participant in the brain eating contest. She said it was difficult but delicious.
“That was very hard. The gummy worms got in the way,” Madden said. “It’s a great feeling to win.”
The group planned on returning to their apartment and watching zombie movies, then going to an undead themed party at a friend’s house. Thomas was planning to DJ the party and was excited he was already in costume.
Makeup was donated by multiple Mount Pleasant businesses, including Target and Black Tie Tuxedo Shop. Many volunteers showed up to help put make-up and fake blood on the zombies, aid in doing hair of the zombies and to help tear up their clothes for a more realistic effect.
Hill says she hopes this will become an annual event, bringing out even more people next year.