It’s almost 5pm. I stand on my favorite spot under a tree, a couple of meters from RITM. I take a sip of Powerade Orange Burst. The taste lingers. I’m still thirsty. This Helmet girl zombie thirsts for water and for some hill repeats.
I stay close to my tree, hold on its rough bark, and take a peek at what’s happening a few meters below. I can feel the dry grass through my barefoot running shoes. The summer wind blows. The canopy of the trees protects the entire zombie herd from Mr. Sun’s rays.
Zombie Tales at The Running Dead
Each zombie has a story. Each zombie has a favorite spot in our uphill stretch of Danger Zone for The Running Dead runners. Each zombie waits patiently. Excitement brews as the clock nears 5pm.
A few minutes later, they arrive at last. The first wave of runners enters our Danger Zone. Excitement finally fills our area.
Our once quiet territory is filled with screams, groans, zombie laughter, and shoes pounding the pavement.
No Walking. Rawwwwrrrr.
Some runners sprint our uphill stretch. Some jog. Some walk. Just like the rest of the RITM horde, Helmet girl doesn’t like walkers. Runners should run, even through the uphill. You walk the hill, she runs after your life flag. You run the hill, she chases you until her helmet removes her fake forehead scar.
As an RITM team, we work like a team. After one zombie runs after a runner, another startles the poor mortal. As the runners run for their lives and try to escape our horde, another zombie snatches one of their life flags.
Zombies care for you. We really do!
We zombies like the chase. We like it when you scream. We like it when you run for your life flags. Helmet girl likes it when the men shriek. She relishes runners’ moments of confusion and disorientation. We zombies love it when you’re scared. But you scare us, too.
You scare us when you turn pale from sprinting the uphill. Helmet girl doesn’t like fainting, especially for runners because runners don’t wear helmets. Helmet girl would sprint to fetch Powerade for a runner gasping for air, but would take one life flag in exchange for hydration.
You scare us when you lie on the ground or sit on the side walk. We zombies would call for an ambulance should you need it. We zombies have a stock of ice to offer in case you cramp, too.
You scare us when you trip and roll over. We don’t want you having the same wounds we have. We help runners get up and let them have all their life flags to themselves.
You scare us when you suddenly stop running and bend over. Helmet girl would give you her own hydration and would let you relax for a bit.
You scare us when you show us we scared you too much that we thought you had a heart attack. Helmet girl would apologize soon after, but would run after you.
You scare us when your entire bunch runs through the trail. We tell you to share the road with us and promise not to get your life flags. We don’t break promises. We just don’t want you to break a leg, literally.
You scare us when you sprint downhill without paying attention to the road, but paying attention to us. Helmet girl doesn’t want you kissing the ground, because you have no helmet. We zombies would tell you, “Watch where you’re going!”
You scare us when you show us you’re not scared. Helmet girl wonders, “Don’t I look hideous enough?” She feels insulted when a runner says “Ang ganda mo namang zombie!” Or “Pa-picture naman!” Helmet girl wonders, “Oh no! Why do I look approachable? Is my make-up gone? Do I need a retouch?”
No, it’s not what you think it is. Helmet girl didn’t do #2 on her RITM spot. Helmet girl collected 24 life flags. She enjoyed sprinting the uphill as much as you did. She savored your moment of fright. But she worried about your safety, too.
The hill repeats Helmet girl had hurt her quads, glutes, and calves. She needed a massage afterwards. But Helmet girl had fun at The Running Dead and hoped you had a great time, too! 🙂
Like the entire horde and zombie leaders, Helmet girl was pleased with the support from the community to help four junior triathletes advance with their training. We’re looking forward to see these young athletes represent our country soon! 🙂
Photo Credit: Carina and Team Endure.