Run for your life
union corn maze host 5K zombie run
Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 13:05
On their way to fighting obesity in El Paso, Erace3 will host the city’s first Running Dead 5K run Oct. 20 at La Union Corn Maze.
According to Brian Guzman, director of Erace3, the zombie run will be a healthy and fun way to stay in shape.
“This year, we strived for a dirtier, messier and healthier race,” Guzman said. “We are ultimately bringing runners to town that big cities wouldn’t bring, therefore attracting tourism to El Paso,” Guzman said.
A few years ago, the National Fitness Magazine put El Paso in third place among the fattest cities in the United States. That classification was the origin of Erace3, a movement dedicated to make El Paso a healthier city. The group’s first event was a 5K-obstacle run that took place last December.
Over 250 people have already registered for the race, Guzman said, who added they are expecting the attendance to exceed over 600 participants.
“These last two weeks before the event can be considered our busiest,” Guzman said. “This is the time when college students become aware by their friends and media, deciding to register last minute, but still being able to participate.”
For the past two months, the Erace3 team has been planning and testing the elaborate obstacle course that participants will have to go through on the day of the race.
“The 5K race will include nine obstacle courses,” Guzman said. “Each one of them tying with the theme in a different way.”
Walking over a river of blood and maneuvering up the bales of hay with leaps and bounds are just two of the obstacle courses. Others include jumping over tires, pushing over dead bodies out of the way and sliding over surfaces with the help from soldiers of the apocalypse; all this while having hungry zombies chase runners before crossing the finish line, Guzman said.
Mariel Ochoa, senior microbiology major, said she is not easily scared of zombies, but she will be participating on the zombie 5K run for the first time.
“I expect the course to be a lot of fun due to the simulation of a zombie invasion,” Ochoa said. “Also, thanks to the fun twist, we will also be distracted from how much exercise we are actually doing.”
Unlike Ochoa, Christina Garcia, junior physics major, said she is very scared of zombies.
“Who isn’t scared of zombies?” Garcia said. “Nonetheless, I’m up for the physical challenge. The zombies will be good motivators for me to keep going and finish the race, which is why I need to start hitting the treadmill and practice. I don’t want to be left behind with the zombies.” Jonathan Shoaman, associate for Erace3, said that not only did the fun factor need to be included but the challenging element as well.
“Ultimately, through these races, we first and foremost want to increase the awareness on health promotion,” Shoaman said. “We don’t want to make fitness seem like a chore and something you have to do, but rather something that people enjoy doing and consider fun.”
Beside promoting a fun way to exercise, Erace3 is also helping people save money by bringing a zombie 5K run to El Paso, Guzman said.
“There are a lot of people that decide to travel to other cities in order to experience this type of race,” Guzman said. “They spend over $130 in registration alone not taking in consideration the airfare, food, room and board.”
Estefania Perea, junior media advertising major, said that the registration fee was decent and fair compared to other places out of town.
“This particular race is very popular, which is why I’m very much excited to attend,” Perea said. “My friends have told me about how expensive it actually is to attend out of town races, but I’m glad I didn’t have to worry about extra expenses other than the registration fee.”
According to Guzman, part of the proceeds will be donated to the El Paso Del Norte Children’s Development Center, a local non-profit organization.
“We knew we wanted to donate part of the benefits, but we first had to make sure that this organization was a non-profit located in El Paso and it involved the care of children,” Guzman said. “We have been able to raise approximately $18,000 in our first race on December 2011 with only 350 participants, we hope to have a larger turn out on El Paso’s first time ever zombie 5K run.”
The event will also have opportunities for volunteers to portray zombies. According to Guzman, about 60 volunteers have already signed up to help on this event, including children.
“This is a fun event for everybody, which is why we are also allowing the volunteering of children, but only with the supervision of their parents,” Shoaman said. “Volunteers will need to arrive at 5 a.m. in order to get ready for the race, five professional make-up artists will also be helping on the day of the event, getting everyone in full zombie make-up, that way all zombies will look uniformed.”
Ochoa said that it will be very fun to pretend that the zombies are actually real, being that they will be in full costume.
“Although I know they won’t and can’t do anything to me, I still won’t let them catch me or get close to me,” Ochoa said. “I will try my best to finish the race without getting attacked by them.”
The Union Corn Maze is located at 1101 Hwy. 28, La Union N.M.
Prices start at $45 and for full packet including shirt fee starts at $55.
For more information and registration, visit erace3.com.
Andrea Acosta may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.