Running from the Undead

By Caroline Klapper | Jun 21, 2012

I am not a runner.

I try to be. I desperately want to be one of those people who can casually say, “Oh, I ran 10 miles after work yesterday,” or “I’ve got that half-marathon next weekend.”

I am clearly not one of those people.

I huff and puff my way through a mile or two at a slow trot and cannot envision a day when I’d be able to handle more than a 5K distance. I’m not sure whether I’m not patient enough, driven enough, or have a severe lack of motivation, but whatever it is, I tend to get excited about running and then loose interest after a month or two of trying to build up my endurance. I’ll quit and then the cycle will start all over again a few months down the line when I decide I really want to start running again. It’s sort of like yo-yo dieting — except with running.

So at this point, you might be asking, “What do the undead have to do with anything?”

Well, they might just be the one thing that can get me moving and maybe, just maybe, keep me running.

I’ve heard many people say you won’t see them running unless something is chasing them, and I think zombies might just fit the bill.

Now clearly, there are no zombies in real life (unless, you count some politicians, which I kind of do), but there are plenty of movies, games and even a TV show with a zombie apocalypse as the premise for the storyline. There are also plenty of running programs out there to help people with their running goals, whether it’s running for exercise or training for a marathon. But as far as I know, the two have never before been put together.

Until now.

A company called Six to Start has created a game app called Zombies, Run! It is currently available for the iPhone, iPod Touch and Android.

The basic premise of the game revolves around you as Runner 5. Your mission is to leave the safety of your fortified base to collect badly needed supplies in the zombie-infested world outside. You are guided on your mission by transmissions from the base (in between songs on your playlist) and you might just get chased by a few zombie hordes along the way (you have to pick up the pace to avoid them or lose some of your supplies).

The storyline is interesting and engaging, and boy, do those zombies get you going!

I tried Zombies, Run! out for the first time last week, and I was duly impressed. Not only did the game get me to run farther and faster than I usually do, I was also excited to go running AGAIN just to see what the next mission would bring. (I managed to avoid three zombie hoards thankyouverymuch).

And even when your run is over, you still have the fun of distributing those supplies you collected to grow your base and unlock more missions. You can also keep track of your runs and what you’ve discovered on each mission.

The price for the app is a little high at $7.99, but in my opinion, well worth it. I haven’t had this much fun running since I was a kid.

I’m hoping this game might actually keep me interested in running and help me build up some speed and distance, and maybe, just maybe, lose some weight (always a goal for me these days).

So if you see a woman running around town somewhere yelling about zombies chasing her, it’s probably just me, immersed in my “mission.” Or, you know, it could be an actual zombie apocalypse, and in that case, you might want to start running, too.