Zombies Invading New York City for a Good Cause

by Kris Venezia
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Runners during a zombie race.

Beth77, flickr

The Undead are Rising to Raise Funds for Special Olympics New York.

Some Staten Island residents will be running for their lives as the undead give chase.

It’s part of the Rundead Fresh Kills Zombie Run, a 5K race to raise money for Special Olympics New York.

Amy Monahan, Development Specialist for Special Olympics New York, explained how the event works.

“It’s a 5K, meets flag football, infused with zombies,” she said.

Monahan said runners have a health belt that is similar to what is used in flag football, and the goal is to not lose all three flags.

The zombies are actually participants, and those who sign-up choose whether to be a runner or part of the undead. Monahan said one of toughest tasks is getting face-paint for the undead.  

“Our biggest challenge has been getting zombie make-up donated so we can make-up the zombies in our makeover tents,” she said. “[The goal is to] have a real cool event, [that’s] not so scary because it is family friendly.”

There will be two different types of zombies at the event, one group that acts as props and meanders around the course. The other type will chase runners during the race, but there are safe zones throughout the track and zombies can’t follow one participant for more than 150 feet.

Matthew Lebow, Event Director for the Rundead Fresh Kills Zombie Run, has put on numerous races in the New York City area, including the Staten Island Super Spartan and the “LIVE! With Regis and Kelly” Run across America.

But he said this event isn’t like most 5Ks.

“I still want to give people a great run and a great course,” Lebow said. “However, the emphasis on the race is to have fun and for it to be exciting and a little more adventurous than a regular run.”

“With the zombie race, [there’s] some drastic direction changes and things like that… it really brings out the feeling of being chased.”

The Staten Island race is June 15th at the Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds. Lebow said he expects more than 500 participants.

“I think it’s going to be a great day, it’s something new, the outer boroughs get forgotten about a lot,” Lebow said. “This is a great event for Staten Island to bring a lot of people out while [participants] help the Special Olympics.”  

Runners who finish with at least one flag will be eligible for prizes, but participants who lose all their flags can still finish the race. Those interested in signing up can visit therundead.org to register. 

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Zombies Rise on Staten Island for a Good Cause

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