Runners battled the undead on their way to the finish line April 6 during the Zombie Fun Run hosted by Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation at the Outdoor Adventure Park.
"It was the first one that we've done at the Outdoor Adventure Park and (it was) a great family event for kids and families as a whole to get out and to have a good time with zombies, even outside zombie season," said Leigh-Ann Slinger, outdoor recreation programmer. "It was just a good way to get kids and families active in … a fun way. Running doesn't always just have to be boring, it can be a fun way that you can still get a good workout while supporting (a healthier) community."
Slinger said among zombie attacks, runners also had to endure four challenging obstacles. There was a wall, mud pits and a tornado shelter they had to run through.
"Throughout the different challenges, we had zombies stationed throughout the course at random places to keep my runners on their feet," she said. "I guess you could say so to raise their heart rates in a different way than running would."
Anastasia Leright, an associate at Outdoor Adventure Park and a volunteer zombie, said keeping their red tag was the challenge runners faced when they came across a zombie.
"When they pass, we're supposed to scare them and pull their red flag off," she said. "They just keep running, but we have their flag."
Slinger said all of the zombies were volunteers like Leright. While many were DFMWR staff, some zombies were also Soldiers, family members and there was a group from Manhattan High School.
"We do it mainly for morale and just to kind of get families and even friends hanging out together to have a good time," Slinger said. "But really to provide a fun and friendly atmosphere for families to have a good time and be active."
First Lt. Derrick Ball, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, and his two sons, Camden, 8, and Derek, 4, ran the zombie fun run as a family.
"We were here for (another run) and I've been able to bring my kids here, relatively inexpensively, and get really a lot of quality time with them," Ball said.
Camden and Derek agreed that while the run was scary, it was also fun.
"It's, I think, good clean fun," Slinger said. "It also gives folks something to look forward to, especially if a family member is deployed, it's extremely easy for families to still participate in a family-friendly event such as this one." #FitFirst