Monday, April 15, 2013

Close Encounters at Outbreak Manila BGC (April 13, 2013)

Outbreak Manila Race held its fourth edition at BGC area last April 13, 2013.  I was able to join its first event in Nuvali back in 2012.  At that time, the race was done during the day but you had to conquer a trail run, with a lot of zombies lurking behind trees and bushes and trail paths were a lot narrower so it was hard to avoid said zombies.

For the fourth edition, the setting is now in the city but to make it more exciting, the organizers decided to turn it into a night run!  Just like its past editions, there would be a series of waves where runners would be released to the zombie hordes every 10 minutes or so.  The objective is simple:  with your three "lives" (in the form of red strips around your waist), you have to outrun, outmaneuver and out think the zombies in the hope of getting to the finish line with at least ONE LIFE intact!

I registered for myself, my sibling and her family, and some friends for wave 4 (6:30pm) but it wasn't until past 7 pm did we start our race.  The reason being was that the organizers wanted it to be a little darker and spookier for all of us!

At the race start, you can choose whether you want to be part of the appetizers (you would go off first), main course (where almost everyone would go here!) or the dessert (no idea why anyone want to choose this).  Two of our group members decided to split from us and went to the appetizers while the rest of us stuck to the main course.  After all, it's safety in numbers.

As the countdown reached zero, the appetizer wave was released (there were less than 10 of them), then it was us!  We were like cattle being released to the lions!  Immediately, there were two zombies in front of us and they were running towards us.  A lot of screaming ensured and more running!

It became a vicious cycle of running to avoid the zombies, then walking when the coast was clear, then running some more.  At one point, there were around 7 zombies just waiting for us on the road.  Time to hit those fast twitch muscles!

There were also areas in the course where you had to go through some obstacles with zombies inside.  A little bit more dangerous and I even saw one woman trip and fall to the ground.

Pretty soon I got separated from my sibling and her kids but just kept going until I saw two members of our group up front.  We jogged a bit together but got separated again.  About 3km into the race, a zombie ripped off my bib by accident but was nice enough to tell me about it and even pointed to the bib, which had fallen to the ground. As I was re-attaching the bib back to my shirt, another zombie just stood in front of me, waiting for me to finish fixing it!  Crazy!  I asked him if he could just target somebody else.  Yes, as if you could do that in a real zombie attack!  He said "no" and eyed the red strip on my belt.  Dang! 

I took time re-attaching my bib so I could catch my second wind.  When I was ready, so was he!  And I had to run, dodge, run back, and did some other things to finally evade him and leave him behind me.  I looked at my belt after.  Red strip still there.  Phew!

I thought that was the hardest one but as I neared the finish line, there was one zombie blocking my path.  I would run and veer to the left but he would do the same too.  Okay, I had become the target again!  Runners would pass us on my right side but still he would eye me and the red prize! 

So I had to dodge again and I passed him. 

Usually, when you pass a zombie, they would let you go and just go after the next runner.  But not this crazy guy.  He actually ran after me!  What the %^&$ ! And he was sprinting too as I was sprinting!  Okay, this would not turn out well for me!

To make matters worst, his fellow zombie saw the chase and blocked my way!  Okay, two against one hardly seemed fair but who am I to complain in an actual zombie run.  So I had to find some way to dodge him and outmaneuver the one behind me and I kept on running.  And still, they ran after me.  Oh great, now there were two of them now! 

I saw that the road would curve and figured they should stop before that happened.  So I ran and turned the corner, and saw that they were still running and within reach of me!    Okay, these two zombies are just plain passionate about their roles. 

But before they got my life, a race marshal interrupted their run and told them they had to go back to their spots!  Ahhh, I was saved!!  Bet the marshal was surprised they got that far!

Out of breath, I once again looked at my belt and saw the red strips there!  I got away intact from them! Human - 1, Zombies - 0!

And it was the finish line: with one section for the dead and one section for the alive.  I walked proudly to the alive section and showed them my belt with two intact red strips and got my finisher medal!

I surrendered my belt with the red strips to get the loot bag and finisher shirt and waited for the others to finish.

Some of us lost our "lives" in this race with  bigger "casualties" for Nat who lost all her lives and her bib too!  And Janine who lost all her lives and had her shorts torn as well!

But it was still a great experience for all of us.  Can't wait for the next edition (but may prefer to volunteer as a zombie)!

My first zombie medal!!!

Total race distance was 4km but didn't care anymore as just wanted to finish the horror run!  :)

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