For 5K runners, zombies are a killer motivator
Panic in the Dark is a goulish good time. Photo by Tory Germann.
By Jennifer Myers
Flesh rotting. Wounds festering. They want only one thing — to eat your brain. RUN!
Through Fort Hill, along the boundaries of Lowell Cemetery and inside Shedd Park, the zombies are coming. Outrun them through the 3.1-mile obstacle course with your brain intact, and you get to enjoy a free cold beer at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium.
You heard right. A Zombie apocolypse followed by beer drinking. From the same twisted imagination that brought the Musical Chairs World Championship and the world’s craziest Amazing-Race style scavenger hunt — Smithfest — to the region, Fred Smith will host the second annual “Panic in the Dark,” an 18-plus zombie-themed 5K run on Saturday, Nov. 2.
Wearing headlamps, runners will then make their way through the 5K course, meeting up with the flesh-hungry undead and other spooky, blood curdling scenes at every turn. Those who survive will enjoy a rockin’ after-party at the auditorium with music by the band Bail Out and will receive a free T-shirt, a medallion and a voucher for one free beer (21+ only).
Smith said he came up with the nightmare obstacle run when he was looking for new event ideas and noticed a lot of zombie-themed morning runs cropping up. Then he wondered, why would you hold a zombie run during the day?
“I knew it would be way cooler at night,” he said. “I mean, that’s when zombies are the scariest, right?”
Smith said he doesn’t fully understand the recent boost in popularity zombies are enjoying these days, but does understand the motivation for some people to get involved with this kind of event.
“People are looking for a reason to be a kid for a day and Halloween has become that holiday once a year when people can do that, unlike me who tries to be a kid every day,” he said.
There are two ways to get involved:
• Sign up to run the 5K. Registration fees range from $65 until Oct. 11 to $85 the day of the event *(click here for fee schedule).
• Be a zombie. Don’t want to run? No problem. Scare the heck out of runners instead. Registration fee is $32.50 and includes make-up by a professional artisit on the premises, access to the Brain Bash after party, free T-shirt and a free beer ticket for participants 21+.
For more information and heat times visit panicinthedark.com or contact Fred Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Myers has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. A former reporter at The Sun for more than a decade, she now works as an aide to Mayor Patrick Murphy. A history buff, Jennifer can often be found combing through old newspaper clippings and documents at the Pollard Library or rummaging through the attic of City Hall to uncover pieces of Lowell’s past. You can read more of Jennifer’s Mill City musings on her popular blog, Room 50.